BECKLEY, WV (WVNS) — When it rains on the 700 block of Hartley Avenue in Beckley, the neighborhood feels it.

“The water be all up in my backyard,” reported Shauna Allen, who lives between Hager and Hunter streets.

“I’ve been living here for three years now,” Allen added. ” Like I said, it’ll be about two inches of water on my back, washes my trash cans down and everything. It be all the way across the street,” she reported. “It’s just a whole mess when it rains.”

The Moores live across the street from the Allens. Rev. Calvin Moore Jr. said the heavy rain ruined one of the family’s vehicles. They are now trying to find someone to take the car and haul it away.

Moore said he has lived on the street for 43 years and that he and his wife raised their kids there. They are now raising their grandchildren.

The street flooded since he moved to the house, and the water runs into his yard.

“I done got so now I just call it Lake Hartley,” quipped Moore. “It was running through my tires on my truck.
“It was about eight inches lower than my running boards on my truck.”

Flood water also forced him to replace his wooden porch, hurt his home’s foundation, and damaged his shed.

The local chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and the manager of Beckley Sanitary Board reported the neighborhood has dealt with flooding for more than 50 years.

Residents along Hager Street reported they also deal with regular flooding and want a solution.

A plan by the City of Beckley to stop the flooding faces challenges in court by county officials.

Raleigh County Commission filed a civil suit in Raleigh Circuit Court in April 2022, which argues the city does not have the authority to require county residents to pay higher stormwater fees.

Beckley Common Council voted in April 2022 to raise stormwater fees and sewer rates to fund infrastructure needs, including drainage issues at Hartley, Beckley Little League, and Pinecrest Industrial Park.

Residents said with more flooding on Wednesday, July 27, 2022, they feel frustrated by the wait.

“While they trying to figure out to do, they have made more steps in the last six months than they have in the last 43 years,” noted Moore.

He said he continues to remain patient in order to give the city an opportunity to address the neighborhood flooding.

The Allens said rain washes neighbors’ garbage into their yard.

Six-year-old Misa Allen said there are too many “puddles” in her yard. She said she wants a solution.

“I want this mess cleaned up,” said Misa.