Thursday, June 13, 2002

Flooding on agenda tonight in Anderson

By Lew Moores,
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        ANDERSON TOWNSHIP — A river runs through it.

        Through back yards, sweeping up newly laid mulch, down into window wells and around to front yards before flowing down Jakaro Drive in a brown surge.

        Bob Wagel has the photos of this river that appears about four times a year. A week or so ago his family watched from their deck as the waters receded. He has had to replace his water heater, furnace and air-conditioning unit.

        “It's getting worse every year,” he said.

        Mr. Wagel and several of his neighbors plan to attend tonight's township board of trustees meeting to ask for help in solving the problem of flash-flooding on Jakaro Drive, which runs off Eight Mile Road and south of Beechmont Avenue.

        He has collected about 30 signatures on a petition asking the township for help. Mr. Wagel believes another sewer line can help eliminate the flooding.

        Peggy Reis, president of the board of trustees, said she wants to hear from the residents at tonight's meeting before deciding what can be done.

        “It's frustrating because it's private property,” said Mrs. Reis. “I don't know enough about it yet. But we're going to hear them out and see if ultimately a solution can be designed.”

        This week, Mr. Wagel and his neighbor, Ed Caldwell, stood by a benign-looking creek that runs in a narrow gully behind the homes and into a storm drain. They say this is where the problem originates.

        When the storm drain and the sewer line that runs down Jakaro Drive can't handle all the water, the water builds and runs over the top of the drain, filling their back yards.

        “It takes me two days to clean out the basement,” said Mr. Wagel.

        Mr. Caldwell said so far the water hasn't gotten into his house or basement, but he and his wife have spent time cleaning up the debris that collects in back once the waters recede.

        “I've picked up old clothes, kids' toys, logs,” said Mr. Caldwell. “I watched ducks swimming upstream to stay away from being sucked into the drain. I have a safety issue. My grandkids play back here.”

        They believe the problem has grown worse in recent years because of new development, including pavement at auto dealerships up on Beechmont Avenue. Rain runs off rooftops, down driveways and off parking lots and it becomes too much, they say.

        “It's like a river,” said Mr. Caldwell. “When we have a flash flood, we invite people over to go fishing.”


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