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Flooded homeowners appeal to commission

June 13, 2003|by DAVE McMILLION

Martinsburg, W.Va. - About 30 homeowners in the Horner's subdivision along W.Va. 45 on Thursday asked the Berkeley County Commission for help in correcting flooding in the development.

The recent rains have left up to several feet of water standing in some of the homes, said Berkeley County Commission President Howard Strauss.

The commissioners hands, however, are tied in the matter, Strauss said.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers determined the area where the development is located is a wetland and therefore cannot be disturbed to correct flooding, Strauss said.


"We have no authority in the matter," Strauss said.

The commissioners agreed to send letters to Gov. Bob Wise and local congressional members asking for their help, Strauss said.

The commissioners are asking that Wise declare a state of emergency in the area, which the commissioners are hoping will trigger some sort of state action.

Letters will also be sent to U.S. Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., U.S. Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va. and U.S. Sen. Robert C. Byrd, D-W.Va., Strauss said.

The commissioners want the three members of Congress to at least send representatives from their offices to a meeting in July to discuss the flooding in Horner's subdivision, Strauss said.

No date for the meeting has been set.

The housing development, which straddles the Berkeley-Jefferson county line, consists of about 50 homes which are a mix of single family houses and mobile homes, Strauss said. Flooding is a common problem in the subdivision after extended rainy periods.

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