Creeping washout threatens Missouri Valley home

Published: Sep. 6, 2019 at 9:07 PM CDT
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An Iowa family is worried about what’s eating away their backyard, it’s a threat to their home they say taxpayers should fix.

After buying their home in Missouri Valley, Iowa about a year ago, the Bennett’s realized a danger creeping up on them.

When asked what worries them, "My house going into that washout, while my family is in it,” said Narissa Bennett.

On their property is a pipe installed by a developer decades ago but, this hose test shows water from two city storm drains going through that pipe and contributing to a slowly growing washout.

6 News stood on the property near the 40-foot drop, we estimated it being only 36 feet away from the Bennett’s home.

According to the Bennett’s, they have repeatedly gone before City Council but the city won’t accept liability for a washout on private property.

“We need to make sure that they have us in their minds every day because this is a serious issue. This is something you don’t let go,” said Jack Bennett.

The engineer for Missouri Valley tells Six On Your Side a plan is on the table to divert water from two storm drains. The consulting city engineer, James Olmsted, said, “The city is willing to help out because it might be the right thing to do in getting rid of that water.”

The Bennett’s says the city should also smooth things over after capping the pipe.

“But it’s a natural drainage way, and I don’t know if the city has any interest in filling that ravine,” said Olmsted.

Though wanting the city to take more responsibility for protecting their property the Bennett’s are grateful that communication is still flowing.

“This is the entire idea behind what we’re doing. Let’s come together and get this thing figured out,” said Jack Bennett.

Any solution still needs City Council approval and it’s too soon to say when the project might start. The cost to Missouri Valley taxpayers hasn’t been calculated yet.