Oak Orchard Residents Deal with Flooding Damage - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Oak Orchard Residents Deal with Flooding Damage

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Flood damage (Photo: Jim Santangelo) Flood damage (Photo: Jim Santangelo)

OAK ORCHARD, Del. - More than a week after January's winter storm, Oak Orchard residents are still dealing with flood damage, and want to prevent similar damage in the future.

Roads are dry now, but residents like Jim Santangelo said it's not over yet. Due to this recent storm and high tides, Santangelo has to rip up his floor and replace furniture and items in his cabinets.

"It just came in so fast," he said. "We didn't have time to really do anything, it was definitely worse than Hurricane Sandy."

He lives on River Road, which is very flood-prone, and has been flooded out twice in the past three years.

"It's an ongoing problem," he explained. "I realize that people are trying to work to make it better, I guess like they say the wheels of justice turn slow, so you it is what it is, we just have to keep working towards getting things taken care of."

The truth is something is being done; it just may not be as fast as residents may hope.

The state has done comprehensive studies to determine what areas need to be addressed, but in total it's about a $3 million to $4 million fix, so work is being done in phases.

State Rep. Ruth Briggs King, R-Georgetown, said she's been trying to help move the process forward.

"Because for one reason it's been neglected for quite a few years," she said. "For the second reason it does impact the community quite a bit, the residents here that are living here. And while this might not be the popular beach area, it's still a very important beach area."

She added that drainage is the biggest issue, but Oak Orchard is only number 30 in a long list of similar projects in Delaware.

"We know what we need to have done and we're just continually pushing up against the financial roadblocks that there's simply not enough money in the funds," she elaborated. "As a matter of fact the fund is running a deficit."

Meetings were held back in October after last fall's nor'easter to explain to residents in the Oak Orchard area which problems were going to be addressed and how the money would be allocated.

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