ST. ALBANS, WV (WOWK) – Flooding in the Marlaing neighborhood of St. Albans is anything but uncommon.
Houses and the basement of the Trinity Fellowship Church have been damaged over the years because of rainwater flooding the streets and seeping into buildings throughout the neighborhood. At the Trinity Fellowship Church, water levels in the basement have reached more than 3.5 feet, according to staff member Donald Fraley.
Fraley said he has submitted documents to the State Attorney General’s Office, Sen. Joe Manchin, Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, the Kanawha County Commission, and the West Virginia Division of Highways to fix the flooding issues, but he “cannot get into the ears” of the government and those responsible.
After a year of trying to raise awareness, Fraley is continuing the fight to bring awareness to these issues.
“People have given up. They’ve said, ‘what’s the use?’” Fraley said. “If we can shut the water off, we can bring this little forgotten neighborhood back to a vibrant, thriving, beautiful neighborhood. That’s what I’m trying to tell the residents.”
He said it’s not just the church, but several houses in the area have extreme water damage because of flooding caused by what he calls a poorly placed drainage system.
Fraley said that the drainage system is supposed to lead to the Kanawha River but instead lands in people’s front yards.
“I’ve been here for just about 28 years, and this is just in the last few years is what I’ve put up with is water everywhere I go,” Marlaing neighborhood resident Brenda Carter said. “When it rains, I get four or five inches of water on my car port. I don’t even know how many inches on my back porch and in the backyard. I can’t even get off the back porch.”
Carter lives just across the street from the Trinity Fellowship Church.
She said every time it rains, residents of the Marlaing neighborhood located off of Route 817 are used to seeing thousands upon thousands of gallons of rainwater flowing through their streets.
Carter said the floors in her home are slanted from water running up into and underneath her home.
“It’s not my fault. It’s not the Lord’s fault. It’s the rain, but somebody’s got to do something from where it’s coming from,” Carter said. “I don’t’ know what they can do, but somebody’s got to try to help the people in the valley that’s getting this stuff.”
The water seeps into and under people’s homes multiple times a year, making it difficult to maintain a home.
Not just Carter but many residents deal with sunken in floors, water stains on their walls, cracks in their homes’ infrastructures and mold.