WASHINGTON CITY — A day after reporting flooding of Washington City resident Paul Jensen’s home, Washington City has begun working on solutions to prevent future flooding. Jensen said Washington City has now built a short block wall along the sidewalk around his property that will keep the rain water from flooding his home.
Jensen, whose home backs up to the corner of Buena Vista Boulevard and Graham Manor, said the new Perry Homes development, called Perry Landing, has caused his home and surrounding areas to flood several times over the last two years because of a lack of storm drains to accommodate the rain flow.
However, Washington Public Works Director Mike Shaw said the water has not been coming off of Perry Homes or any of the development.
“It’s been coming out of the open desert up there,” Shaw said. “Perry Homes has actually helped with the issue because they built a detention basin, so the water that would have normally just come running right off their development, actually is detained and released slowly.”
Shaw said his crews put the stacked block wall in place on Buena Vista Boulevard to help Jensen with some of the flooding he’s been experiencing, which he believes will really help the issue of the water coming down in the future.
The city has also been working on other improvements so floods don’t continue to flow into homes at every heavy downpour.
We have the storm drain inlet (on Buena Vista Boulevard) and that worked really well but we had so much debris flow that would come down, the debris flow would plug those grates off. We’ve had three storms this year that hit that general area, and after the first one, we came up with a plan. We actually stationed people at these key storm grates and their job is to sit there and do nothing but clean those grates off, and that has worked out really well in the last two storms. You know, we haven’t flooded any homes in the last two storms.
The city changed out the catch basins on inlets Tuesday and built and installed dome grates so the debris won’t plug them up as quickly. The city also stacked concrete blocks around the Buena Vista Boulevard storm drain inlet to create a kind of pond for the water to come in and then direct it down the inlet.
“We had some dirt berms in and when that intensity of water came in,” he said, “it just washed those dirt berms out, so we put those stacked blocks in there – I think that’s really going to help.”
During the Sept. 9 storm, Shaw said the city placed concrete jersey barriers across Main Street below the overpass and directed the water towards Millcreek instead of having it flow down Main Street, which he said did quite a bit to help.
“The problem with these storms,” Shaw said, “is knowing where to sandbag because you don’t know where the storm is actually going to hit – whether it’s going to be up in that area like it’s been this year, or in the past, we’ve had them hit with that intensity out in the Fields – so it all depends on the path that the storms are going to take, where you’re going to have the most rainfall and the damages.”
Shaw said the city will continue to do the best it can to prepare for future storms and to avoid homes being flooded.
“We’re still a pretty small city,” he said. “I only have five employees in my street department so you know, there’s not a lot that five employees can get out and get done, especially in a big rain event.”
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