Plan to stop flooding in Dubuque neighborhood - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Plan to stop flooding in Dubuque neighborhood

DUBUQUE (KWWL) - Imagine going through the floods of 2008  every year.  That's exactly what one Dubuque neighborhood goes through on a smaller scale.  It happens around the Bee Branch Creek storm drain on the Dubuque's North side.

Now, the city wants to stop the flooding -- but it may mean tearing down 80 homes and businesses.  Laurie Bartolotta has lived in this Dubuque neighborhood for more than 20 years.  Just two years ago she moved.

"We actually had a sewer pipe that busted and the city thought that maybe they could come in and patch it," said Bartolotta.  But her broken pipe wasn't the only problem.  "During that time we were affected by the flooding.  I lost numerous family decorations and memories in our basement," she said.

The city bought out her home as part of the Bee Branch Restoration Project. It's the rain water that doesn't soak into the ground and instead runs off into the streets and sewers of the surrounding neighborhoods.  That's causing flooding and the city says the Bee Branch Project will help prevent flooding in the future.   

"Engineering studies have shown that if we don't do this water way we can expect more damage to occur and so the City Council made a decision in order to protect the residents for years and years to come we need to do these improvements," said City Civil Engineer, Deron Huehring.

The restoration calls for the demolition of 65 homes and 15 businesses.  The city says it's a small number...compared to the number of properties impacted by flooding each year.  "This effects so many people throughout these neighborhoods over 1,000 properties at risk throughout these neighborhoods here."   

The city's in the process of buying out those properties.  And while it may seem like an inconvenience, Bartolotta disagrees.  "It's necessary. If one person in the city needs something than we all should need it," she said.

Dubuque will hold a public workshop on the bee branch project will be held at 5:30 tomorrow night at Audubon Elementary School.  Construction on the project is slated to begin next year.

Online Reporter: Lauren Squires


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