RINGGOLD, Ga. -- On Allen Drive in Ringgold, leaves, sticks and trash are stuck 6 inches high in some of the fences. Gravel, trash cans and lawn furniture still sit right where floodwaters washed them.
"It's a major mess," said resident Jo Ann Cooper, looking at a trough that rushing water carved around her fence posts.
It's a familiar scene to North Georgians who are still cleaning up from last month's floods.
The difference for Allen Drive residents is that this happens every time it rains an inch, they contend, and it's caused by runoff from a new subdivision up the slope from their homes, a development that's already been fined by the state for erosion problems.
"The backyard, when it rains, looks like a little river," said Fred Allen, who has lived on the street for 36 years.
The day after voicing their concerns at a Catoosa County Commission meeting, Allen Drive residents were ready and willing to discuss the damage.
The street -- which is spelled Alan, Allan and Allen on various road signs, deeds and maps -- climbs a sharp slope from Pine Grove Road, getting steeper as it reaches The Pointe subdivision.
Where the 40- to 50-year-old houses end and before the entrance to the new subdivision, a 24-inch culvert guides water from the development into a natural bowl enclosed on one side by a wall. A 5-foot tall wall, which has a 12-inch outlet pipe to drain stormwater into the county's storm sewers, collapsed during last month's floods, sending a tide of muddy water down the street.
Charlie Whitmire, one of the developers who built The Pointe, said engineers designed the wall to control the water based on previous floods, but during the heaviest rain last month, more than 6 inches fell in an hour.
"I don't know any engineer that calculates on 6 1/2 inches of water in an hour," Mr. Whitmire said.
Engineers already are working on a new concrete wall to replace the failed one, he said
But residents say it's not just heavy rains that cause problems. Since land was cleared for the subdivision, any more than an inch of rainfall causes flooding down the slope, they say.
Mr. Whitmire disputes that. Aside from water released by the retaining wall's failure, there's no more water coming down the hill than before it was built, he said.
He blames the county for not building ditches along the roadsides and for not paving the road properly.
He said most roads are built higher in the middle so water runs into the gutters, but Allen is designed with a depressed center line, giving the water nowhere to go.
Attempts to reach County Manager Mike Helton and stormwater manager Buster Brown were unsuccessful Wednesday afternoon.
Officials with Georgia's Environmental Protection Division said the agency fined The Pointe's developers for silt- and erosion- related issues. Documents state the developers were fined $38,000.
But EPD environmental specialist Kevin Dallmier said any further action would have to come from a civil suit because the developers did not violate any criminal laws. Rules about diverting water and damaging private property are civil issues, he explained.
Mr. Whitmire said the developers already has bought two badly damaged houses on Allen Drive.
But resident Pat Allen said that's not good enough. She said she and others are considering legal action against the developers and the county to get money to repair their homes or move.
"If two people can do it, a whole neighborhood can," she said.