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Tucson family hopes to see drainage improvements after home floods

Published: Sep. 6, 2021 at 7:27 AM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - A family hopes the city of Tucson will take measures to improve drainage after their home near Fifth Street and Craycroft has flooded multiple times this summer.

“We can handle the light rains, but we can’t handle their whole tidal wave of water. That’s the scary part,” said homeowner Amanda Blake.

Blake said water from the street flows onto their property and floods their home any time there’s a substantial amount of rain. The family’s carport filled with water during a storm Sunday.

“This is a similar case throughout the city particularly in areas that were developed pre 1984 and the before the 1980s when flood plain regulations took effect,” said John Van Winkle, an engineering manager with the Tucson Department of Transportation and Mobility.

Van Winkle said a recent study found ways to improve stormwater infrastructure around Fifth Street, such as building a basin.

“Various improvements that could be conducted if funding becomes available to reduce the impact that we’re seeing during these events,” he said.

He said the city plans to repave Fifth Street in 2023, which they believe will help some of the flooding.

“That means we have to live in fear two more years and try to figure something out,” Blake said.

Her neighbor, Raul Navarro, has lived in the home next door for more than two decades. He said he built a retaining wall years ago to cut off the water from his property and the city reimbursed him for it.

“This couple bought this house in good faith. They felt they were making a good life investment and now all of the sudden they’re faced with this problem. The city needs to take care of its citizens,” he said.

Blake hopes the city will take measures to improve the drainage along the nearby streets sooner rather than later.

The city recommends her family continue to use sandbags and find ways to redirect the water from their home without flooding properties nearby.

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