Neighbors question whether Waterloo could prevent flooding - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Neighbors question whether Waterloo could prevent flooding

WATERLOO (KWWL) -- Recently Craig Hundley invested more than $10,000 in a basement renovation.

"And now I probably got $20,000 worth of mold," said Hundley.

At this point, the problem is not so much what you can see, but what you hear walking around. The carpets "squish" with every step, and only the remaining layer of water from Wednesday's flash flooding.

"This time we really got socked," said Hundley.

Notice he said -- this time. The flood is frustrating, but Hundley and others down the block are downright angry about the city's response, or lack of response to decades of neighborhood complaints.

"Anger. Because this has been addressed to the city council many times," said Hundley.

Forest Dillavou said he's heard promises for thirty years, but no progress.

"At least 20 years ago, one of the things that Mayor said -- I will take care of the Garden Avenue storm problem. The Rooff family has said it -- we will take care of it. It never happens," said Dillavou.

City officials said -- bigger pipes, more pipes -- it would not have helped in this storm.

"How big can you make them? When you've got rivers running down streets, cars that are up to their doors in water in the middle of the street, you're going not to have a storm sewer that's going to handle that. It was just too much water, too little time," said Waterloo Waste Management Superintendent Larry Smith.

Hundley argues, the mess in his basement should be a red flag -- there is a problem.

"I think this coming Monday the City Council chambers are probably going to get an earful," he added.

Waterloo Mayor Buck Clark addressed problems with the storm sewer systems live on KWWL News at 5:00. He agrees, it's something that the city has neglected for quite awhile. Clark is in the process of hiring a engineer to design a solution. But he said it will take a lot of time, a lot of money, and a lot of effort.

Online Reporter Colleen O'Shaughnessy

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