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SC mayor says city drains not to blame for flash flooding; urban deer hunting to begin

By Marta Ree Tankersley

SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- South Charleston Mayor Frank Mullens said that drainage and sewer systems in the city are adequate and not to blame for the flash flood of Aug. 21, which affected sections of Rock Lake Village, Spring Hill Avenue, Oak Street and Kanawha Turnpike.

"We got 4 inches of rain in just 35 minutes," he said during a city council meeting Thursday evening. "No system can be made to handle that. It was devastating."

Mullens reported that many city officials worked around the clock to help residents clean up in the aftermath and went "above and beyond the call of duty."

There isn't a 100 percent solution to flash floods, but we always strive to make improvements and plan to tour the areas after an event to try to figure out where we can do better, he said.

"There just isn't a magical cure for flash flooding," Mullens said.

Urban deer hunting, as recommended by the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources as a means of controlling the growing deer population, will begin Sept. 7 with two property owners participating, said City Attorney Michael Moore. 

"Hopefully it will go on without a hitch and continue to expand," he said.

Council members voted to rezone property on MacCorkle Avenue at McDonald Street and Park Avenue "commercial" and make way for a possible Sheetz store, a 24-hour gas and convenience chain.

The investors are still engaging in traffic studies and are in the preliminary stages of development and a construction start date has not yet been determined, City Attorney Michael Moore said.

Also Thursday:

* Former Chamber of Commerce Director Joyce Dery and high school basketball coach Tim Wells were appointed to the Municipal Planning Commission.

* Council members recognized the South Charleston Little League District 3 baseball champions, who won the state tournament.

"They went to the state tourney where they represented themselves, their parents and the city well," said Mullens.

Each member of the team and their coaches were presented with certificates. An engraved plaque with the team photograph will be displayed in a city building. 

* Council recognized Vickie Vaughn and Joan Belcher for their beautification work at Wilson Street near Chestnut Road.

"They did a wonderful job beautifying the neighborhood and we thank them," Mullens said. "I hope it's contagious."


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