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Neighborhood wants changes after flooding

ELKHART, Ind. -- Flooded streets and people cleaning up damage left from severe storms is a common sight for one neighborhood in Elkhart County. The people who live there say they’ve had enough.

"The worst part is being at work, and when I hear my phone ring, I’m just praying it’s not one of my neighbors saying, ‘Hey you need to come home and check up on your house because ours is flooding,'" said homeowner Robert Mathes. 

It’s a phone call Mathes receives quite a bit, neighbors alerting him the street outside of his Doe Meadow Place home is once again flooded. 

"Ever since the flooding in february, it never completely drained," said Mathes.  

But after monday morning’s rain he witnessed the flooding first hand with water seeping through his basement floor. 

"It just started flooding again" said Mathes.  

This on top of having to repair a cracked foundation wall, buy a new sump pump, and replace carpet, all damaged from February’s historic flooding. 

"It’s very frustrating," said Mathes. "We started the restoration pulling out all of the carpet that was flooded, damaged from the previous flood and now the hydrostatic pressure is coming straight up from beneath the house through the foundation. There’s nowhere for it to go except for into my home and other homes that are in this neighborhood. It’s just become out of control," said Mathes.

Mathes and his neighbors blame the drainage system and want help from the county who is responsible for the roads.

“There’s obviously a drainage issue," said Matthes. "We have a retention pond that was built for our neighborhood behind us. It’s not large enough. The drainage gets backed up." 

Elkhart County commissioner Mike Yoder says it’s complicated. 

"Most times the flooding is happening because somebody changed the designed drainage system, so it would be people filling the drainage ditches or plugging up culverts," said Yoder.

He says the county received numerous complaints about this area and checked out the roads, but can’t find a problem, so his advice to neighbors. 

"My message is do not change the drainage structures in your subdivision," said Yoder. "Those are put there for a purpose." 

Yoder also says these neighbors or any neighbors who experience heavy flooding can hire an engineer to asses what they think might be a problem area and find a solution. The group can then go to the county storm water board and request financial assistance.

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