Mayor of Parma Responds After Weekend of Flooding Frustration

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Posted May 24, 2018

After a weekend of heavy rain and flooding in many local areas, one suburban mayor has written a letter to his residents to try to calm frustrations.

We spoke to neighbor Amanda Garrett, who said she just moved into her house three weeks ago with her wife.

"We already paid a bunch of money, now we have to pay more money to try and get our basement fixed,” she said.

Her home was just one of about half a dozen homes on Westlake Avenue in Parma with flooded basements.

Her next door neighbor, Dawn Hood said she has lived in the area for several years with flooding problems.

"They [the city leaders] tell us they're looking into it,” said Garrett. “You told us that last year."

She said if the issue is not fixed, she plans on moving out of Parma.

Parma Mayor Tim DeGeeter sent the following to the people of Parma on Monday to try to reassure residents that the city is trying to deal with the ongoing issue of flooding.

An open letter to Parma residents:

We understand and completely share your frustration.

Dealing with flooding damage - and the potential loss of family keepsakes - is one of the worst, and most aggravating, issues a homeowner can face.

What’s especially frustrating is there no quick fix to what is truly a regional problem, but we will continue to systematically work to mitigate flooding issues impacting you and residents across the city.

Crews from our service department and the county were out all weekend actively responding to flooding issues and collecting damaged property placed on tree lawns. We understand that it might take time to get items out for pickup, so local collection will continue throughout the week. Residents can call the Service Department at 440-885-8184 to leave an address for collection.

Many residents, like you, are asking what is being done to fix this problem. Here are a few examples of how we’re trying to attack this issue:

- Since 2012, Parma, through our partnership with Cuyahoga County Public Works, has spent more than $13 million on maintaining and improving our sewer lines. Here's a link for the most current report: https://tinyurl.com/yc4f3esn.

- The city has invested millions of dollars more in other infrastructure projects, such as lateral repairs, culvert repairs, head wall and catch basin reconstruction and replacement, and storm and sanitary lining, among other things.

- Included in those projects is the $2 million Chevrolet Boulevard Detention Basin — an effort complemented by the $2.4 million improvement to storm and sanitary sewer lines. The Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District (NEORSD) took over management of the basin after approached by the city.

- In addition to that basin, NEORSD also has operated the Bonny Banks Detention Basin near Stormes Drive for about two years at the request of the city. The Sewer District will start a dredging project this summer to remove up to 16,000 cubic yards of sediment. The Sewer District’s involvement is the latest effort by the city to improve the basin — including dredging as well as removing trees, brush, and debris after flooding occurred there about four years ago.

Much of the flooding in Parma, like other cities, is a regional problem, and NEORSD is studying the reasons behind these issues so they can be addressed properly.

We contacted the Sewer District after Saturday’s flooding – which occurred in northeastern Parma – to understand what caused those problems. Specifically, we want to find out why the storm water generated from Saturday’s rain bottlenecked at our northern border rather than flowing out of the city as intended as part of the regionally-connected sewer system network.

Again, we understand your frustration and the impact the city’s flooding issues have on homeowners. The last thing we want is for residents like you to face flood-damaged homes and properties. We will continue to work hard on these problems.

Parma Mayor Tim DeGeeter (Email: mayorsoffice@cityofparma-oh.gov)

Source: wkyc