By Stephanie Edwards
Lee’s Summit resident Patrick Hicks spoke to the mayor and all eight members of the City Council about flooding concerns in his neighborhood. Hicks told the Council that he lived in the Vista Del Verde area. According to the neighborhood website, the area is located approximately between Vista Drive to the west, Country Lane to the east, Eighth Street to the south, and Seventh Street to the North. The neighborhood also includes some property on Fifth Street and Sixth Street.
Hicks told the Council that two major weather events in the last 60 days have led to flooding from storm water sewer systems insufficiently draining. He displayed a map of the area in question and informed the Council that the problem area, a creek, was not on City property but was the concern of the home owner’s association. “It’s not my intention to get a resolution for this issue tonight,” Hicks said. “I’m just opening a dialogue.”
“I hope that we can work together on this issue so that this entire area on the map isn’t blighted in 20 years due to being flooded,” he said.
He said he grew up in the area in the 1990s and the creek would overflow “very occasionally” but the creek did not crest into the street, due to blockage or development of the watershed. “The volumetric flow rate, that the storm sewer system here serves as a watershed to, is insufficient and the water actually came up about a foot off the manhole cover on the two storm sewer drains right in the middle of the street,” he said.
A neighbor’s car was totaled due to the flood waters, he said. The water level had refused to subside. “The creek has great need of remediation just from potential blockage from fallen trees,” Hicks told the Council. It is a dangerous issue, where children can play in the creek and not be aware of their proximity to the drain. “You can’t swim out of that. It’s very dangerous,” he said.
Hicks said that he wanted the Council and the Mayor to be aware of the problem, and he was not sure of a solution yet. Going forward, Mr. Hicks said that he would be pursuing an open records request and working with the HOA in order to find the solution.
Councilmember Craig Faith spoke up about the issue during the Roundtable portion of the meeting. He said that District 2 has seen some flooding as well, and while it is not the City’s place to fix or work on the areas, “we may be able to offer guidance.”
“Perhaps Public Works Committee is a place where folks could bring about a request just to get some information,” Councilmember Faith said. He then asked if there was another City resource available to the general public to provide guidance.
City Manager Steve Arbo said that storm water had been an issue of great concern for the City, and that the City might be able to offer some expertise.
Public Works Director Dena Metzger spoke and said that while City resources were limited, the City might be able to offer a little bit of guidance and “point them down a path.”