SABINA — There is positive takeaway from the flash flooding that struck the town after heavy rains late Feb. 28 and early March 1, say village officials.
The extreme weather event served as an object lesson to demonstrate that the village’s flood mitigation work has made a difference, and that floodwaters now recede sooner from streets and yards than formerly, Councilman William “Bill” C. Lewis and Mayor Dean Hawk said at Thursday’s council session.
“The flood of March 1, 2017 reached a level that had not been reached since 2008,” Hawk said in his mayor’s report.
“However, rain stopped at 9 a.m. and the flooding on Grand Avenue crested at 10 a.m. Eight hours later at 6 p.m. Mary’s Fork [Creek] at Grand Avenue was back into its banks. The water is getting away much faster than before our flood mitigation work,” the mayor said.
Lewis said the 4-plus inches of rainfall and accompanying floodwaters went away “by an improved stream system. Lawns and streets were virtually returned to normal in less than 24 hours.”
Armed with photographic evidence of the effectiveness of the village’s ongoing creek cleaning project, Lewis suggested an effort be made to see whether parts of Sabina designated as a flood zone can be re-classified by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
“With demonstrated success, we may well be successful to get Sabina out of the flood zone — thereby improving the image of the village, improving property values, and to help relieve those with [required] flood insurance on mortgages,” the councilman said.
He recommended residents keep their photographs of the floodwaters and of the water’s retreat for possible use by the village in making a case to FEMA.
“While there have been several fits and starts to stream reclamation over more than 12 years, significant work has been occurring to greatly increase the stream water flow in and around Sabina,” stated Lewis.
In other news, the mayor reported the Village of Sabina is now a part of the Wilmington-Clinton County Chamber of Commerce. The first ribbon-cutting will be for a grand re-opening of The Village Deli & More to celebrate its expanded space at 2 p.m. Friday, March 17.
There are also plans for a grand opening and ribbon-cutting for Engine House Pizza, likely in April, said Hawk.
He also noted the Crowe Bar on North Howard Street has closed its doors. “I understand that this business, by more than one name, dates back to the early 1950s,” the mayor said.
Susan Littleton Kempner has been working on a project to sharpen up storefronts on North Howard Street utilizing art projects from local schools and colleges, reported the mayor.
An East Clinton art class has produced a beautiful chandelier, he said, and Kempner has asked whether it can hang in the foyer of the Sabina Municipal Building, something Hawk plans to look into.
Sabina Police Chief Keynon Young said that for the month of January, the police department received, among other incident types, reports of seven marijuana-related incidents, three overdoses, five thefts, one contributing to the delinquency of a minor, and one possession of drug paraphernalia.
He said a Sabina Police Department auxiliary officer was offered a position on a security staff at a Georgia college, and plans to accept the job pending him meeting all requirements for employment there.
Reach Gary Huffenberger at 937-556-5768.