Flooding solutions discussed in Grove City

By Andrea Cordle
Southwest Editor

Heavy downpours drenched parts of Grove City in late March, leaving numerous residents with flooded yards and basements. After the rain event, the city’s service department received about 100 calls or emails from residents who reported water in their basements.

In addition, there were 42 locations where roadway or surface flooding was reported, and 45 roadway sections were closed due to high water.

On May 4, Cindi Fitzpatrick, the city’s service director, addressed Grove City Council about possible solutions to ease flooding concerns.

According to Fitzpatrick, on March 18, 1.20 inches of rain fell in the area in nine hours. From March 19 through March 20, 3.36 inches of rain came down in 18 hours.

“This was on top of already very saturated conditions,” said Fitzpatrick.

The rainfall was classified as a 10-year weather event.

The older neighborhoods in Grove City saw the most impact from the storm. According to Fitzpatrick, the older neighborhoods’ stormwater drainage system was designed to a lower standard than today’s building and stormwater management standards. Design requirements pre-1960 reportedly allow surface routing of stormwater along streets. So, if the sewers are at capacity, flooding on and in property can occur.

“Most of the flooding occurred in areas where sewers were built before 1960,” said Fitzpatrick.

According to the service director, city staff followed up with 66 property owners who reported flooding in their basements. They received a response from 45 residents. Fitzpatrick said 82 percent of the properties that experienced water in the basement had no protection, like a backflow preventer, a standpipe or plugs. Overall 24 percent of properties that experienced water in the basement had no sump pump or the pump had failed.

Another cause of the water backup was due to debris blocking culverts impeding the stormwater flow.

Fitzpatrick said city officials are considering options that could help mitigate flooding.
The measures could help, but “eliminating flooding in these areas are not realistic,” said Fitzpatrick.

She said leaders are reviewing regional/drainage system improvements through redevelopment. For example, some of the flooding occurred in the Old Beulah area. The Beulah Park redevelopment and the proposed school site would include plans for stormwater management. Town Center redevelopment could also have a positive impact on the problem.

Fitzpatrick also brought up the idea of a water in the basement protection program, saying properties in the older Grove City areas would benefit from improvements to the buildings’ plumbing using new technology. She said the administration is evaluating a private property protection grant program that would be similar to the city of Columbus’ project dry basement. This grant program would support the installation of backflow preventers in private residents. A backflow valve typically cost about $3,500 to install.

Councilman Ted Berry inquired about building a basin in the city.

Fitzpatrick said she is not aware of an area where the city could build a large pond.

“I don’t know if that physically exist,” she said.

According to city officials, it could cost upward of $10 million to acquire land and build a larger basin. Even a smaller basin would cost more than $1 million.

Berry suggested that the city administration look at the fields to the west of West Grove. He asked the city staff to make a map of areas where retention ponds could be placed.

Fitzpatrick also said the city’s service department will come up with public education flyers to help residents alleviate flooding in their property. Once the information has been finalized, it will be available on the city’s website.

 

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1 COMMENT

  1. I live on Voeller Circle. In the past two years my basement has flooded twice. I just had drywall work done for the second round and had to remove all my carpet that was put down last April and will have to paint, etc. to get it back to the way it was before the flooded in March.
    The flooding was ground water coming up through the drain in my laundry room it was about 3″ or 4″ inches.
    I would like to know what the city plans to do to solve this problem?
    I am retired in my 70’s living on a fixed income and to not have the money to keep having this mess or the energy to keep dealing with the awful mess this makes.

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