City probes flooding in Peoplestown

City officials vowed Saturday to get to the bottom of what caused last week's severe flooding in homes along Atlanta Avenue near Turner Field.

Heavy rains apparently overwhelmed the city's storm water drainage system, said Reginald Wells, deputy commissioner of the Watershed Management Department. But he indicated other factors also might be at play: The system might need repairs.

"We are committed to staying on top of this [and] ultimately finding the root cause of the flooding," Wells said in an interview after attending a community meeting Saturday in the Peoplestown neighborhood. "And we will gather all the details and options going forward to help improve — if not alleviate — the current flooding situation."

Wells said city officials have found no evidence of sewage flooding in the area, though homeowners insisted they witnessed it last week. Between five and 10 homes in the Atlanta Avenue area have been affected by the flooding, Wells said.

Area residents said this is not the first time their neighborhood has flooded. They have hired an attorney to sue the city for damages.

Kevin Lynch is among them. He said his home has flooded four times in the past four years, including once in 2009 when his pickup truck was totaled by the water. It happened again in July of last year and then twice last week, he said.

Some of his family's belongings lay strewn about his driveway Saturday, drying in the sun. He said he planned to throw them away because they were unusable.

"You cannot keep this stuff," he said. "It is covered in sewage."

Next door, Krystal Perkins showed a visitor where she said flooding knocked down a large section of her backyard fence last week.

"This is really not something I want to live with every time it rains," she said. "Absolutely not."