A Reidsville resident, Jacqueline “Jackie” Jones, has made it her mission to inform the public of available grants to repair property flooding.
Jones has lived in Reidsville since 2018 and has experienced flooding in her yard since then, the worst flood being in March 2020. When she bought her home on Dolores Street, the Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) flood map did not show any flooding on her property, she said.
She has stated that the water has reached her window sills; no proof of this has been submitted to The Journal Sentinel or the City of Reidsville.
She has, however, approached the City multiple times at city council meetings and in private to address this issue, but the City has no obligation to this property since it is privately owned by Jones. Another resident and Jones’ neighbor, Edgar Johnson of Chandler Avenue, has complained to three different mayors multiple times regarding standing water in his yard.
“There are no written complaints [regarding flooding],” City Attorney DuAnn Cowart-Davis said. “Miss Jacqueline Jones and Mr. Edgar Johnson made verbal complaints at city council meetings. The city has taken action to respond to these complaints.”
The City of Reidsville hired Hofstadter and Associates, Inc., of Macon, to conduct a drainage analysis of Chandler Avenue in October 2020. The area inspected was the ditch in front of Reidsville Elementary School, owned by the Tattnall County Board of Education.
“The city has made an investigation into the flooding on Chandler Avenue. Our engineer visited the site and personally inspected it. The professionals at Georgia Emergency Management Agency (GEMA) and Homeland Security also personally inspected the property and agreed with our engineer’s opinion that the city has no responsibility to address these personal property issues,” Cowart-Davis said.
A report from Georgia Emergency Management Agency was not issued to the City, according to City Clerk Nivea Jackson.
Regardless of whether the City is responsible for Jones’ yard, she has stated multiple times on her Facebook page, Reidsville Georgia Community Floods, that it is the council’s fault her yard and her neighbor’s yard are flooded. Due to not receiving help from the City, Jones became affiliated with Anthropocene Alliance, a national nonprofit, based in Florida, which educates and organizes individuals and communities harmed by environmental abuse and climate change.
Jones applied for a grant, Pisces Foundation Sub-Grant, from Anthropocene Alliance, receiving a sub-grant offer letter on December 15, 2021. Jones was told in this grant letter that she would receive $15,000. A $500 payment was made up front, and monthly payments of $165 for the next 12 months will be made (one has already been received). The remaining $12,520 will be retained at a later date, according to the letter.
Funding can only be used for activities that are compliant with their 501(c)(3) status, according to the letter. The letter was signed by Anthropocene Alliance Executive Director Harriet Festing and Jones.
In addition, Jones has been in contact with Thriving Earth Exchange to request volunteer scientists to conduct assessments of Reidsville and surrounding areas on how to mitigate flooding. No evidence of scientists visiting the area has been provided. She has also testified before FEMA and the White House Environmental Protection Agency's Environmental Justice Advisory Committee.
If you are experiencing flooding or an excess of standing water on your property, Jones asks that you contact her via phone call at (912) 388-1828 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.