WARREN, Ohio (WKBN) – Wednesday night in Warren, residents addressed city council about recent flooding problems. A couple of weeks ago, several inches of water were dumped on the city in a matter of hours. Some parts of the city had several feet of standing water and basements flooded with sewage.
So, what does the city plan to do about the problem?
“We’ll look into it.”
That was the official word from the city on recent flooding. It’s an answer some residents say they’ve heard before and they’re disappointed they’re hearing it again.
“I’ve watched our city go from Warren, Ohio to Worn out, Ohio,” one person said at the council meeting.
To put it mildly, people in Warren are not happy with the state of infrastructure in the city, specifically wastewater and stormwater management.
“All of us got between 18 and 36 inches plus in our basements of sewers backed up,” another person said at the council meeting.
We stopped by one Warren neighborhood where we were told it floods frequently.
“Our catch basin’s not being cleaned out by the city. We have to call them and beg them to do something,” said neighbor Paul Yannucci.
Several storm drains were covered in debris, grass, plastic and trash. One drain hasn’t been cleaned in so long that enough dirt has accumulated to grow grass.
“I’m talking about a typical, steady rain day, the streets are still being flooded,” Yannucci said.
Yannucci’s street doesn’t even have a storm drain. It used to have a drainage dip in the road but that has since been paved over.
The city says they have 185 miles of sewer pipe and only one truck to clean them.
“Do they have a plan to go around and do these things? Which I doubt very seriously,” Yannucci said.
The word from the city is that they are having people routinely clean these drains.
For now, the city says they are conducting a study to see how to best fix the problem. But they say solutions and large-scale projects can take years to complete. Time the people say they don’t have.
“Now do something about it, damn it!” another resident said at the meeting.