Preventing Floods, What More Can Be Done?

By Stephanie Parkinson

April 23, 2013 Updated Apr 23, 2013 at 5:24 PM EDT

Fort Wayne, Ind. (www.incnow.tv) - Several residents are cleaning up after flood waters seeped into their homes last week.

The worst of the flooding in Fort Wayne was seen in the Eastbrook Westbrook Neighborhood off State Street.

Some homeowners say they had more than a foot of water in their basements last Friday. But city officials claim changes along Clinton Street did help alleviate some of the flooding.

Frank Suarez with the City of Fort Wayne says raising the bridge on Clinton Street allows the water to flow better in the Spy Run Creek. But homeowners in the neighborhood say they didn't really notice any help from that change.

"We really didn't expect it. It was pretty bad. We got about a foot of water in the basement and we should have planned for it but we didn't and we had to get rid of a lot of stuff," said Amanda Widmeyer, homeowner.

"It's got a very low structure bridge there. The homes are in a very low lying area and the water does come up quickly. We know it's been a frustration for those residents for a number of years and we've worked with them closely and are hoping that we have a solution that's coming up soon," said Frank Suarez, City of Fort Wayne.

That solution Frank is talking about is the State Street Expansion Project and it’s something Julie Peebles has high hopes will be the answer.

"I'm hoping that with State being higher and this bridge being gone that it won't back up as quickly or as bad," said Julie Peebles, homeowner.

"It's going to create more green space by the removal of the homes that are in the flood zone and creating more space for the water to go. It's still going to be a flood zone but the fact that you're taking the homes out of the flood zone will protect the neighborhood," said Suarez.

Frank says in addition that project will raise the bridge on State Street by seven feet which will also allow the water to flow better.

The project to expand State Street has come with a lot of backlash from residents in the area, but at this time the project is moving forward.

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