By Mike DeNardo
CAMDEN, N.J. (CBS) — Officials in Camden say help is on the way for a low-lying section of the city that floods with every heavy rainfall.READ MORE: 4 Shot Inside Park City Center Mall, Lancaster Police Say
An inch of rain puts Von Nieda Park, in Cramer Hill, underwater for days.
Fifteen-year-old Genesis Santana, who lives nearby, says streets and homes are inundated as well.
“The flooding is so frustrating,” she said today, “I mean, to the point where one moment my basement is clear and the next it’s basically a pool of contaminated water.”
The water is contaminated because Camden’s stormwater and sewage systems are combined.READ MORE: 'Everyone Was In Pure Panic': Good Samaritans Rush To Shooting Victims' Aid At Park City Center Mall
Now, an effort — called “Camden SMART” (Stormwater Management And Resource Training) — has begun construction on a new system to deliver stormwater to the Delaware River.
“This is the low point in the city, so that’s where the stormwater deposits now,” notes Camden County Municipal Utilities Authority executive director Andy Kricun. “We’re going to be capturing it in this new stormwater line, taking it to the new stream, and taking it to the river.”
The $2.8-million project is expected to be finished by next spring.
The new stormwater system is one of five Camden projects funded by a $2-million grant and $3.6 million in low-interest loans from the New Jersey Environmental Infrastructure Trust.MORE NEWS: Man In Critical Condition After Fairhill Shooting, Police Say