County blamed for flooding in Millersville

April 14, 1994|By Kris Antonelli | Kris Antonelli,Sun Staff Writer

After three days of rain that left 3 inches of water in her basement and a flood in her yard, Ramona Wojick decided that Anne Arundel County officials should declare her property a flood zone.

"I had a pond in my back yard big enough to swim in," complains Mrs. Wojick, 65, who lives in the 8200 block of Elvaton Road in Millersville.

She blames the county for the problems at the house she and her husband, Henry, also 65, have lived in for the past 30 years.

The county bought part of their land in 1972, cut down the trees and paved it over to build Old Mill Road, leaving little ground to absorb the runoff from storms, Mrs. Wojick reasoned.

She wants the county to build a storm drain near her yard to help combat the runoff problem.

She and her husband have had trouble with water before, but this is the first year they have had serious flooding, she said.

The unusually wet winter and spring have caused flooding for people all over the county, said Lisa Ritter, spokeswoman for the county Department of Utilities.

"We have had so many calls this year from county residents who have lived in their homes for 30 or 40 years and never had any flooding until this year," she said. "We will be happy to come out to Mrs. Wojick's home to check the storm drain. It could be that it just needs to be cleaned."

When county officials decided to buy the land, they told the Wojicks they could accept an offer of about $2,000 an acre or the Wojicks could go to court to try to get a higher price, she remembers.

"They told us they would give us water and sewage and a sidewalk in front of the houses," she recalled. "So we didn't fight it. But we never did get county water and sewage or

the sidewalk."

Elvaton Road residents have wells and septic tanks.

Ms. Ritter said residents in the community may petition the county for utilities to be extended into their area.

"If there is county water and sewer in the surrounding areas, it could probably be done, but the citizens must bear the cost of design and construction," she said.

Since the spring rains began last month, Mrs. Wojick has spent $2,400 to replace the septic tank, and she is worried that the sump pump is going to be next.

"We can't afford to keep putting out the money for this," Mrs. Wojick said. "My husband has had a stroke and is in bed most of the time. This has been a nightmare. I'm at my wits' end."

Others in the neighborhood have also had problems with flooding.

"The last couple of years have been the worst," said Linda Funkhouser, who lives next to Mrs. Wojick. "Our yard has been soaked. I guess I should be glad we don't have a basement."

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