Forecasted storms weighing on some residents' minds

January 24, 2012 8:02:59 AM PST
The images of intense flooding from two weeks ago are fresh on the minds of many who lived through it.

Families were flooded out of their homes and students were stuck in schools around MLK and Griggs and now some are worried this week's rain could bring fresh flooding.

Some of the residents in Sunnyside say the high water two weeks ago was the worst they'd ever experienced so they wanted to find out what caused it and how to prevent it from happening again.

The January 9 floods caught many lifelong residents off guard.

"The water was coming up on my yard. The water could not flow off and then it was really bad by the schools. It was bad all over," resident Joyce Lowe said.

They were driving in water and wading in it. At a neighborhood meeting Monday night at Sunnyside Park, many homeowners demanded answers about what caused the flooding, and with more rain in the forecast, whether their lives will be disrupted again.

"People said tonight that the flooding even backed up to Calhoun, so it wasn't just Griggs, Southpar and Reed Road, traffic jams. So it was a cascading effect," said Charles X White with Sunnyside Southpark Super Neighborhood.

Railroad officials say a broken culvert caused some problems and have promised City Councilwoman Wanda Adams it will be fixed by the time there is more rain.

"In this particular area it didn't drain. That's the concern some of the residents had and they have every right to have that concern because some of them lost a lot of things in their homes," Adams said.

From broken culverts to plugged drains, many of the residents spread the blame between the city, railroad and METRO.

"Homes that flooded that never have before. We're trying to find out exactly what is the problem, what's causing the flooding, since it's never flooded before," resident Norman Tibbs said.

A task force was formed within the neighborhood association to address the flooding issues and hold the various city entities accountable.