Kansas City program can help you ‘keep out the rain’ — for free

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- When heavy rains fall, it can cause flooding in a heartbeat. And if you've ever had water in your home, you know what a nightmare it can be.

That’s why Kansas City is encouraging residents to take advantage of a free program that can help handle high water.

Megan Younger’s lived in her Waldo house 10 years, and she quickly learned to dread rain because of how fast it would flood her basement.

"I would get buckets and have buckets of water and before I'd go to work, I'd just haul them out and haul them out. And get a push broom and push the water out, push the water out," Younger said.

So when she got a letter about Kansas City's “Keep out the Rain” program, it almost sounded too good to be true.

"At first when I saw it, I thought maybe it was not real," Younger said.

She also got a phone call and decided to set up a free in-home evaluation.

Becky Coleman is part of Kansas City’s "Keep Out The Rain" building evaluation team.

"The overall goal is to decrease the amount of overflows that people experience and then the amount of rainwater that’s being treated that doesn’t need to be treated. So just really clean up our water system overall," Coleman said.

When a home like Younger’s backs up with too much water, it can overload the city’s sanitary system.

Through “Keep Out The Rain," the evaluators check for common code violations and missing pieces that, when fixed, can do a much more effective job of getting rid of stormwater.

In Megan’s home, an old sump pump wasn’t working right and water constantly pooled around her basement door.

The city installed a drain in the concrete outside and put a new sump pump in her home for free.

"That water’s going to go back into the ground naturally like stormwater does instead of into the sanitary, overflowing the system," Coleman said.

It’s actually half the cost to make these improvements for homeowners than it would be to handle all the excess water clogging up the city’s sanitary system.

"It’s made a major difference, major difference," Younger said.

Kansas city’s “Keep Out The Rain” program is targeted to certain zip codes where sanitary overflows are common, mostly in south Kansas City and the Northland.

You can check the program’s website to see if your area qualifies, then set up a free home inspection.

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