Flooded out residents voice frustration

May 18, 2009 4:57:36 PM PDT
Carpets ripped out, walls torn down; an entire neighborhood is still trying to clean up after flooding damaged nearly all the homes. Many residents there say they warned city officials this would happen. [SIGN UP: Get headlines and breaking news sent to you]

A neighborhood that has been around for decades is now dealing with a new problem -- flooding. They claim development around I-10 has caused flooding in the neighborhood between Bunker Hill and Blalock.

Kim Clack doesn't have much of a house to show off. On April 28, flood waters poured through the streets of west Houston and into her Bunker Hill home.

"We had to take out 48 inches," said Clack of the damage.

Longtime homeowners say this could have been prevented if city leaders and big name developers had listened to their concerns years ago, but they didn't.

"We had neighborhood meetings. We talked. We expressed our concerns and they basically decided that our concerns were not practical," said homeowner Barbara Hunt.

Hunt says homeowners grew worried when a large development along I-10 and Bunker Hill were allowed to be built without additional retention, and when heavy rain fell, it ran off the parking lots and into their homes.

"I was answering emails about this," said Houston Mayor Bill White Monday.

But Mayor White says the developers didn't get special treatment because the property was already covered in asphalt before the developers bought the land and began building.

"If something is built, and somebody buys it form somebody where it already has some paved over and is already developed, we don't have new detention requirements," said Mayor White.

Mayor White says the city will invest $30 million to build and improve drainage across Houston, but it's too late for the Bunker Hill homeowners. They have a lot to clean up and no permanent solution in sight.

"They voiced their concerns whenever everything was built around here and Bunker Hill being widened, and now we're flooded and everyone's upset," said Clack.

The homeowners know they won't get a drainage basin, but they would like to see some retroactive drainage options for their area. So far, city leaders have no plans to do so.

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