Tuesday, July 27, 2010

TOP STORY > >Resident requests Sherwood council deal with flooding

Leader staff writer

A Sherwood resident may finally get some relief from a nightmare of ruined property and expense caused by a blocked drainage ditch behind his house.

Before the Sherwood City Council on Monday, Stonehill subdivision homeowner Jim Steadman described what he has dealt with since moving into the custom-built home at 2956 Marble Cove in 2006. After listening to his woes, Mayor Virginia Hillman promised the ditch would be cleaned up.

The drainage ditch is on property that belongs to the city.

Steadman said that a dead tree, other vegetation and rubbish, including building materials, metal drums and tires, causes rainwater to back up into his yard and those of his neighbors. The last time that happened, in a storm a few weeks ago, water was “less than one foot” from coming into his house, but he dashed out and removed a section of privacy fence in time for the water to flow out of his yard and into Indianhead Lake.

Steadman said that his yard floods at least twice a year, but that repeated attempts over the years to interest the city in doing anything about it have been to no avail.

Lanny Leder, the director of Sherwood Public Works, has refused to help because the property is in a flood plain, which it is not, Steadman said. Ellen Norvell, the city engineer, “has been supporting (cleaning the ditch) 110 percent, but I can’t get public works to do anything.”

Each time Steadman’s yard floods, so does his in-ground swimming pool. Ridding it of fish, snakes, mosquitoes and debris costs him about $500 in chemicals and four days of work.

“It hasn’t been a real treat,” Steadman said.

When the ditch is cleaned out, Steadman said, there has not been a flooding problem, even during the heavy rains last Christmas that swamped area streets and homes.

Now that he has elevated the two motors for his pool on concrete blocks, they will no longer be ruined, which each time has cost $400 for replacement, Steadman said.

Steadman said that the problem has worsened with the construction of Miller’s Crossing subdivision, which is above his property. He wondered if a “down-flow study” had been conducted to assess impacts before the development got under way.

“We will do what we can to take care of the debris,” Hillman said.

On Tuesday, Leder was out of the office and not available for comment.