Broad Ripple residents hope for flooding fix

Indianapolis, Ind - A group of homeowners in the Broad Ripple area are hoping utility and city officials will find a solution to a chronic flooding problem on their properties.

Mary Baker is among several property owners in the 3700 block of East 65th Street who regularly deal with rain water collecting in their yards nearly every time there is heavy rainfall.

“I mean the neighborhood kids come over asking if they can please go kayaking in my yard,” Baker said.  “And I have to tell them no.”

When the flooding gets really bad, Mary says it flows into her garage and basement.

“Right now I have two sump pumps working and they haven’t been turned off in over a week,” Baker said.

The water flows down from 65th street to a low-lying area that includes Baker’s back yard and three other connected properties.

Citizens Energy Group sent an inspector to the area Tuesday and they believe they found the problem.  The inspector found a culvert running under 65th street, draining rain water away from the roadway.  But there are no storm drains or ditches in the area, so the water has nowhere else to go.

“It’s a combined sanitary sewer and storm sewer,” said Citizens Energy Spokesperson Dan Considine.  “But this area doesn’t have storm drains that would take water down to that sewer.”

“So this water is just naturally flowing through this culvert and going back through these folks yards,” Considine said.

Since the problem appears to be a surface drainage issue, Considine said the Department of Public Works will need to decide what can be done to address the flooding problem.  He said Citizens Energy officials will meet with DPW next week so they can bring their findings to the right people.  It’s not clear what action could be taken or how soon.

Baker hopes whatever needs to happen will take place before she’s dealing with flood water in her home again.

“I’m all for safety and that culvert was built to avoid any accidents on this road,” Baker said.  “And I want to be part of the solution there, of course.  But at the cost of my family’s health and safety?”