Watonga homeowner says ditch by her house causes major flooding issues

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WATONGA, Okla. - As the torrential rains came pouring down on Tuesday night, all Bobbi Trumbley could do was watch as the water crept closer and closer to her Watonga home.

“All you see is water. It gets past the curb. It goes more than halfway down each side of the road,” said Trumbley.

She says there was so much water surrounding her house on Wednesday morning that her family was trapped.

“I couldn’t get my car out. And I couldn’t get my kids to school Wednesday,” said Trumbley.

The problem is a large ditch that runs along the side of her house.

It collects the water and pushes it into her yard and the street.

“I didn’t know it had no place to go at the other end and so it comes straight to the road,” said Trumbley.

Trumbley says she’s gone to the city but can’t get help.

NewsChannel 4 called and Code Enforcement Officer Luke Tallant came out to the property on Friday.

“The flood plain starts approximately where those railroad ties are,” Tallant explained to Trumbley.

Trumbley’s house is not technically in the flood plain but part of the ditch is, and that complicates matters.

“We’d have to get the county involved, the State of Oklahoma Water Resources Board, FEMA and potentially the Army Corps of Engineers,” said Tallant.

On Friday morning, Tallant says city crews cleaned out the culverts on the road at the other side of the ditch.

He’s hoping it helps the problem a bit but a long-term solution could be more difficult.

“I don’t know if it would be a canal. I don’t know if it would be … I just don’t know,” said Tallant.

One thing he did promise Trumbley though is that the city would immediately begin looking into it.

Trumbley says she feels better knowing that someone is working on the problem and she just hopes she can escape her house the next time the spring rains come.

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