Backyard Flooding Draws Ire of Frederica Residents - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Backyard Flooding Draws Ire of Frederica Residents

Posted: May 25, 2018 4:48 PM Updated:

FREDERICA, Del. --- Dick Van Emburgh said there was a marshy area behind his property that wasn't full of water when he moved into his home in Frederica five years ago.

Today, Van Emburgh and his neighbors say it's a much different scenario.

"Now, it's almost a stream or a lake," he said.

Van Emburgh and neighbors blame DelDOT and construction of the South Frederica interchange for rising waters in the wetland behind their homes. He says a retention pond and other adjustments the transportation department made to the area have caused more water to enter the wetland, often causing flooding that rises a few feet and above their property lines.

"We have trees that are falling down because they are not swamp trees," he said. "They're hardwood trees."

DelDOT said it researched neighbors complaints and found no evidence to suggest the interchange project or the retention pond were causing the water levels to rise.

In fact, DelDOT spokesman C.R. McLeod said the agency found the retention pond is likely causing better conditions with water. He said Van Emburgh and neighbors' homes are also located in a floodplain.

"What we are seeing out there is exactly what the environment should look like," he said.

But Fred Staz, a neighbor of Van Emburgh, said DelDOT's assessment of the situation is incorrect and doesn't accurately reflect a marsh that used to dry out several years ago.

"DelDOT is telling us this, 'no this is normal, this is the way it was," he said. "Sorry --- this isn't the way it was. It's changed."


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