Waldo neighbors blame storm sewer project for increased flooding

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Homeowners in the Waldo neighborhood say a city storm sewer project has made flash flooding much worse, instead of improving drainage.

For years, homes near 84th Terrace and Central Street have had a combined sanitary and storm sewer. Last year the city hired contractors to separate the sanitary sewer from storm water drainage, as part of a so-called “Smart Sewer” project.

But homeowners are telling FOX4 the work has been anything but smart.

Those living on the block must rely on a culvert to handle all the storm water runoff.

And Tuesday night, water overwhelmed the drainage ditch, resulting in flooding of people’s property.

Homeowner Chris Donner said the culvert clogs too easily with debris and doesn’t help divert water away from homes.

“We obviously need something in the way of better drainage,” Donner said. “We need actual working storm sewers and gutters. I think it would really help if they put something in the way of a storm drain in the middle of the street about a half block south of here, where anytime it rains you can stand and watch the flow of the water and know that it needs to be caught right there.”

This street is only a block away from Wornall Road and Donner said she’s noticed an increase in runoff from Wornall as upgrades are being made there.

Neighbors said a culvert on the opposite side of the street was eliminated as part of the project. They want that drainage ditch back, and say they can only dream of one day having curbs and gutters.

An engineer hired by the city to do some of the work told FOX4 off camera that his firm has advised the city to make surface improvements to prevent stormwater runoff from causing flooding. But the engineer says the contract does not include any upgrades like curbs and gutters.

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