The Edmond Sun

Local News

January 26, 2013

Drainage issue swells up at city meeting

EDMOND — A recent meeting with the Stormwater Drainage Advisory Board ended with the threat of a class action lawsuit to be filed against the City of Edmond.

SWAB members heard the concerns of two residents of the Belmont Park addition about flooding on their Man O War Drive properties. Both properties of Curtis Cory and Greg Condray were constructed below the grade on the lowest elevation point of the addition, they said.

Water flows to the rear of Cory’s property from four other residences and two lots under construction, all on a berm that is 10-feet higher than the lowest point of his property, based on a city drainage study, he said.

“I think everybody knows why we are here,” Cory said. “We want to find a way to alleviate that water — keep it back to the natural flow where it should have been going between those houses and not being forced to go into our yards to drain and flood our properties.”

Final inspections took place on the properties, said Richard Gabel, manager of building and fire code services. The final building grade was approved at the third inspection, Gabel said.

“I know two times the inspectors went out and said there was a grading issue that looked like they could see on it,” Gabel said.

Trying to fix the problem

Cory couldn’t mow over a long hump on his property and had it removed along with a crinkled drain pipe, knowing it was not draining right, he said. He used slick pipe to reconnect to his backyard and increase the velocity of water flow.

The developer of his property accepted no responsibility for the drainage problem, Cory said. So Cory created a swell to the street to help water drain.

“I spent about $1,500 of my money to try to settle this problem,” Cory said.

He then contacted the City of Edmond to learn how local ordinances protecting homeowners from flooding issues would apply in his case. Homeowners are at the mercy of city codes in trusting properties have been inspected thoroughly, Cory said.

“Who created the problem? It was the builder and the developer,” Cory said. “And since the city didn’t go out and force them to do it to code and fix it in the beginning, they are a responsible party.”

Cory said that he should not be responsible for paying to fix the problem.

“It’s on my footing, it’s on my stem wall, it’s up on my garage door trying to seep in out there,” Cory said. “It’s trying to rot dry line. The No. 1 killer is water in homes with termites and the whole 9 yards with mold.”

Condray, who purchased his home in 2006, said there were two 100-year-flood events in 2007.

“I was actually out of town and one of my neighbors sandbagged off my back porch,” Condray said of the storm that February.

Condray has had his property re-graded twice, put in French drains and had a landscaping company re-sod his yard.

“It just all washes away, but it doesn’t take a very big rain event at all for the water to back up on my patio. It’s just a matter of how close it comes to the door,” said Condray, a geologist who has done water planning. “I haven’t had water in the house. The French drains are working fine.”

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