CARY – Storms that came through the area Friday and Sunday left residents at the flood-prone intersection of Sunset and Crest drives wet again and scrambling to keep the inside of their houses dry.
Flash-flood conditions Sunday led residents to attend Tuesday’s Village Board meeting to complain about the municipality’s response.
The village has applied for federal and state funding to perform a large capital improvement in the area to alleviate the flooding concerns. However, it is a long process and “we follow it every day,” Village President Mark Kownick said.
To help fix the problem, the village also is looking at realigning its capital improvement plans and asking its engineering firm to work on solutions, Kownick said.
“We’re trying everything we can,” Kownick said. “Unfortunately our hands are tied during some of these things. ... We’re trying [to get] money, so it doesn’t cost the rest of the taxpayers’ money to fix a problem we have in one area. It’s a huge issue for us. ... Every time it rains, the first thing I think of is Sunset and Crest.”
In the meantime, residents are hoping for some temporary fixes. Jeff Goucher, who lives near the intersection, said he wants the village to do more to help fix the problem, such as bringing sandbags to the site, having pumps and making sure grates are cleared.
“Just because we ripped out drywall in our basements doesn’t mean we don’t have anything to lose,” Goucher said. “I’m not banking on the fact we’re going to get this funding. We need a Plan B, but we also need some preventative measures.” Goucher recommended the village buy a house in the area, tear it down and create a detention pond.
“We need a solution now,” Goucher said.
Richard Wieser said some of the residents near the intersection had a foot of water, and on Sunday water was knee-high at Sunset and Crest.
Some residents have bought pumps to keep water out of their houses.
“We sat out there and did what we could, and I watched a two or three neighbors flood because we didn’t have heavy-duty pump equipment to hold the water back,” Wieser said. Wieser said residents wished village public works employees would have been more proactive with the approaching storm.
“The neighbors feel pretty slighted,” Wieser said. “It’s a known intersection with a problem. ... You would think there would be some prep work prior to the storm.”
Public Works Director Cris Papierniak said the village did not receive any emergency calls from the area on Friday.
It did receive a call at 8:25 p.m. Sunday. The emergency on-call public works employee arrived at village facilities at 8:36 p.m., grabbed his gear and drove through Sunset and Crest about 8:45 p.m. He saw no standing water and moved onto other calls for standing water in the village.
At 9:40 p.m., he received a second call to go back to Sunset and Crest. Papierniak said the village is hesitant to pump water to an unknown location because it doesn’t want to negatively affect another area while helping Sunset and Crest.
He added that pumping water to a nearby site also might need to be limited depending on capacity. Typically, when the village pumps stormwater, it sends water to a dry well, Papierniak said.
Papierniak said sandbags could be provided to the intersection and kept on-site. Trustee Karen Lukasik said there needs to be ideas to help the neighborhood in the short term as the village works on putting in a long-term solution.
“There’s going to be another rain,” Lukasik said. “We can’t just keep our fingers crossed that we’re going to find funding.”