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      Genesee County completes flood control project

      Genesee County has completed a $2.2 million flood control project that's expected to reduce the risk of flooding following heavy rains in parts of Flint and Burton.

      The the Gilkey Creek project created 20 acres of ponds to store storm water runoff that's caused previous flooding.

      The county says the project should eliminate flooding in all but the worst conditions.

      The cost of the project was shared by the county, state and area communities. Residents initially petitioned the county in 2004 for drain improvements in the area.

      The project created 20 acres of flood control ponds that will store 5.4 million cubic feet of storm water that has been the source of countless flooding to residents, putting them underwater six times in the past 10 years.

      "The Gilkey Creek Flood Project came in on budget and on time," said Jeff Wright, Genesee County Drain Commissioner.

      Another benefit of the project is the potential for the natural development of a resting habitat for cranes, turkeys, ducks, geese and pheasants in the detention pond area.

      Reducing the risk of flooding on Lapeer Street, Lippincott Boulevard, Court Street and Genesee Road, as well as the surrounding areas, will also help the overall economy of the area.

      Due to the severity of the flooding, many residents and local businesses were considering relocation out of the area in order to safeguard their property.

      "This area is now in great position to not only retain the economic resources they have, but also expand both residentially and commercially," said Wright.