Lee’s Summit residents claim ground is sinking and damaging their homes

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LEE’S SUMMIT, Mo. -- The rain is causing rivers and streams to spill out of their banks, but it's a very different problem in one Lee's Summit neighborhood. It's a problem people living there say they've fought for years. While the city has pitched in, neighbors say it's still not enough.

"That fascia board will have to be taken off and replaced," said Mary Lowe.

Lowe has lived in her home for decades. It's the one sure thing she always thought she'd have that is until recently. Lowe says her house is sinking toward a culvert that runs on the side of her house, and she says she's complained to Lee's Summit city leaders, and she hasn't gotten any answers.

"The ground is actually sunken down there, making a ridge along where the box is,” said Lowe.

A few years ago, the city of Lee's Summit put in a drain after neighbors complained of flooding, but across the street the Ishkuntana family routinely deals with flooding. The family told FOX 4 that they have looked into remodeling their basement, but because it floods so frequently it's not worth it.

According to Lowe, the city is aware of the issues. Wednesday after Fox 4 called, Bob Hartnett, the Deputy Director of Public Works came out to the neighborhood. He says the city is aware of the problems, and they're working to address them--including adding a larger drain on the other side of the street.

As for Lowe's sloping house? Hartnett says it's normal, even beneficial to keep water out of the house, but he encourages anyone with issues to contact the city in the future.

"We'd like to get any facts, photos, pictures, dates, anything we can, it'll help us make better decisions," said Hartnett.

As for Lowe, she just hopes whatever decisions are made are ones that keep her home safe.

"I would like to keep my home for the rest of my life, but I don't know what's going to happen," she said.

There is also a large crack, more than 30 feet long, according to Lowe, in the culvert that runs by her house. Hartnett says the city knows that at some point that will have to be fixed, but right now, it's not posing any imminent danger. Hartnett estimates some of the changes to the draining system in the neighborhood could take between 12 and 18 months.

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