PARMA, Ohio– Fed-up Parma residents sounded off at Monday night’s city council meeting about repeated flooding in their neighborhoods.
Many say they have spent thousands of dollars on repairs, only to have their homes flood over and over again during heavy rain.
“For the last seven to 10 years, every year at least once a year, I have water backing up through my sewer into my basement,” said one resident.
Frustrated Parma homeowners vented to city council members during the panel’s first meeting since the summer break. Residents are demanding that something be done about repeated flooding that impacts their homes during heavy rainstorms.
“Myself and a number of my next-door neighbors are looking at potentially having to spend roughly $3,000 a property to put in back water valves or back flow valves or check valves, whatever you want to call it,” the resident said.
“I have 3 foot of drywall removed, I have no carpeting, no TV, the cable’s been pulled out of the wall and I have to sit here and I have to wait until the city of Parma decides when they’re gonna come out to that basin and fix the issue that exists,” said another resident.
On July 5, Parma was hit with a storm that dumped more than 4 inches of rain in less than an hour.
“Our systems weren’t built for the amount of rain we had the other day. Nobody likes to hear that, but we are doing our best to try to methodically take care of what we can, when we can, how we can, but none of it will be fast enough, that’s for sure,” said service director Brian Higgins.
Higgins said the city purchased new equipment to help keep sewers and drains clear. The city has also been working with the regional sewer district to make improvements.
“We need to move to get a one-level home for my husband’s health issues and our house is so devalued now. We’re so stuck and frustrated and as you said, it’s not happening fast enough. We’re just hoping it happens in our lifetime so our retirement isn’t ruined,” said another Parma homeowner.
Some residents said they cannot wait for the city and may have to spend thousands of dollars of their own money, asking the city to potentially reimburse them.
The service director said the city is looking into dredging some areas, closely monitoring problem spots and redirecting some sewer pipes.
In the meantime, Parma residents wonder if they will have to deal with flooded basements again, the next time it rains.