Columbus neighborhood fighting for solution to flooding problems

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COLUMBUS, Ind. – When you drive into the Armuth Acres and Northcliff neighborhoods of Columbus, puddles and running sump pumps serve as the welcome sign.

“We have been pretty much sopping wet since February 2,” said homeowner Amanda Burdine.

Burdine has lived in this neighborhood since 2013. She saw bad flooding in 2015, and in February the flooding got bad again. Water covered the cul-de-sac she lives on, preventing mail and trash pickup from getting to her home.

“We were having to park on side streets and walk through neighbors yards just to get to our houses,” Burdine said. “For me, I have four kids. Imagine bringing groceries and four kids through a muddy backyard.”

A month later, standing water still remains. It’s affecting not just roads, but also homes.

“Right now this is our basement,” said Chris Walker as he walked us down the staircase into his flooded basement. “It’s had between three and four feet of water in it for a little over a month now.”

Walker hasn’t had access to his basement for over a month. When he moved into this home, he planned on building an entertainment area downstairs. Now instead of watching a movie with his family, he’s watching pieces of the staircase landing float around in more than a foot of water.

“There have been several missed days of work trying to make sure I stay on top of it,” Walker said of his flooding.

He currently has several sump pumps trying to keep it under control, but it’s not enough.

Neighbors have put together a petition, hoping the county can help. Their neighborhood has no real drainage system.

“We’re not professionals, we don’t know what we need,” Burdine. “We just know we have water, and the water needs to go somewhere other than our neighborhood.”

The neighbors put together a petition, bringing it to a county drainage board meeting earlier this week. However, they were told that the petition didn’t follow the correct guidelines. Neighbors are now meeting with county officials Friday morning to learn the correct format, and they will continue to fight until the problem is fixed.

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