After this dry summer, any forecast of rain comes as a relief, but in one Omaha neighborhood a potential downpour raises concern. A drainage problem has pitted neighbor against neighbor. What's being done to mend fences?
A May downpour brought an unwanted cascade into the Stewarts’ back yard near 45th and Center, but a September rain pooled and stayed up above.
“McFly’s has put up sandbags, which has helped me tremendously,” says homeowner Karina Stewart. "It has stopped the flow onto my property for which I'm very thankful."
The bar owners packed sandbags at the mouth of downhill drainage from their parking lot. “See if it helps out the neighbor down to the west and see if there's a simple solution to what seems to be a complicated problem,” said bar owner Jeff Lampe.
Karina’s home video shows the sandbag barrier holding back a one-inch rain on Wednesday night. McFly’s owners say they didn't put the sandbag barrier up and call it good. They've also hired an engineer to see if this is the best solution or what else is needed to keep water from flowing toward their neighbors.
The gas station owner next door wonders about runoff now diverted his way. “I'm just more concerned if we get two or three inches, all of a sudden it pools up so much I end up with all the water on my side,” says Steve Bertagni.
The bar owners say they have to consider cost and liability before pouring money into a permanent fix to the runoff problem. “Don't want to spend a lot of money and think we fixed the problem but created another problem,” says Lampe.
Neighbors say their flooding concern before the sandbag dam is not water under the bridge. “They really need to have a permanent solution,” says Karina.
The city has put the bar owners on notice to permanently fix the drainage problem. The top code enforcement official says he wants to hear from their engineer before deciding on the city's next step.