Solve Flooding Problem

Editor, News-Register:

Those of you who have followed my letters to the editor will recognize my disappointment in our city government. Not only in the current mayor and city council, but in the long-serving bureaucrats (department heads, and those aspiring to become one). My recent interactions with most, and I want to say most, not all, of the bureaucrats; has found them more concerned about “not rocking the boat,” “toeing the line,” and being seen as a “team player.”

A prime example of “not rocking the boat” was the recent interview of our city engineer concerning the flooding of basements in the Morningside area of our city. Citizens, and I might mention taxpayers, were recently interviewed on WTOV about the water backup they’ve complained about for years. The city engineer (and I paraphrase), when questioned about the problem said something to the effect he was aware of the problem and would be working with the residents to develop a program to get their downspouts removed from the sanitary sewer system. Talk about a lot of hogwash. What the city engineer, in all honesty, should have said was that the problem has been known for years and council has refused to prioritize and allocate funds to correct the problem. That’s the truth of the matter.

I have an idea of what those residents are suffering, since we had our basement office flooded on a couple of occasions. Every time it would rain, you would check to see if water was coming in, even though there was nothing you could do about it if it was. You would end up tearing up carpet, mopping up the water, running a dehumidifier or fan to dry up the space. Then issue a sigh of relief that you got the mess cleaned up, only to wait for the next heavy rain and the return of the water.

In our case the water was not a city issue, it was due to an opening in our below-grade block. My wife and I ended up digging out the area in question, found the opening between the block, and were able to fill the opening, coat the wall, put in a French drain, and close up and re-grade the area to create positive fall-away from the house.

Now, I know that isn’t something of interest to most of you, but the reason I told that story is to emphasize we had control, and the means, to correct our water problem. These folks in Morningside cannot individually, on their property, eliminate their problem. It is a city of Wheeling problem. It will take a re-design of the storm water, and perhaps the sanitary sewer drainage systems, which entails an enlargement of the underground piping. Not an easy or cheap fix, but a permanent fix. These people in Morningside aren’t interested in a new public safety building, a parking garage, or giving downtown businesses $15,000 grants. They only want to enjoy the peace and serenity of their homes. The largest investment they will make in their lifetimes. Remember all of this when you vote for a new mayor and council next year. We should be addressing the issues that impact the quality of life in our community, and need a mayor and council who will make that their priority.

Hope springs eternal!

J. Jacobs



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