CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (WNCN) — As heavy rainfall moved into Chapel Hill on Thursday, Bolin Creek overflowed its banks and flooded the parking lots of several apartment complexes on Estes Drive.
Within an hour of steady rainfall, the parking lot of Brookwood Condominiums turned into what looked like a river.
Tenants who live there told CBS 17 that this happens every time a storm rolls through the area and it keeps them from being able to leave the apartment complex.
“When that happens we always hunker down,” said Brad Erickson, who lives at Brookwood Condominiums.
Camelot Village is another community of townhomes that floods every time there comes a storm.
Quentin Simmons is disabled and he lost everything when his home at Camelot Village flooded during Hurricane Florence.
“Every time the rain hits the ground, I’m looking at the water, making sure that the parking lot doesn’t become a river,” Simmons said.
Now he said he lifts all of his stuff up on blocks when it rains.
“I put my TV up high, and I put my bed up high,” Simmons said.
Simmons said he would like to see the town of Chapel Hill do something to prevent the flooding.
“It’s not like I can afford another place to live,” Simmons said.
Sue Burke, senior engineer for the public works department for the town of Chapel Hill, said that Camelot Village was built before the floodplain map was created.
“Under today’s rules they would not be allowed to be built,” Burke said.
Burke said the city cannot put up a flood gate to move the water.
“Because if you move the water, you want to make sure you’re not flooding someone else,” Burke said.
Burke said the best option is to move the apartments.
However, she said before it comes to that, she said the city will be doing a watershed study to make sure there is no way to move the water.
“But given where Camelot Village is in the watershed, I don’t think there’s a likelihood that we will be able to move all that water away from that particular location,” Burke said.
Burke said the watershed study on Bolin Creek will be done sometime within the next year.
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