IN YOUR CORNER: ‘It just kept coming’ – neighbors need answers after stormwater floods homes

In Your Corner
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OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – The summer storm washed across Oklahoma City early one July morning.

Thousands were left without power July 10, with flooding reported in pockets citywide. But maybe no neighborhood was hit harder than on North Florida Avenue, just off NW 115th.

“I walked through the house, and was like, ‘Something’s going on,'” said CeCe Henson.

“It was probably about an inch of mud,” added her husband, Mack. “An inch of mud just coated the whole floor.”

The Hensons had a problem, as water rushed into their living room and throughout their house.

It was a problem felt by many of their neighbors.

“Just red water,  red mud, watery mud,” said Christine Selco, who lives nearby. “It just kept coming!”

“The water came through, and as you can see from the dirt marks everywhere, it really did some extensive damage,” added neighbor, Carla McCarrell-Williams.

Behind Carla’s home is the source of the mud.

Piles of dirt lay in a large field, as construction continues on a new residential neighborhood.

“That field over there where they’re clearing it,” said Carla. “There’s piles of dirt there.”

The work is part of Phase 2 of the Chisholm Creek Village. The project is led by A-List Construction.

The company is beholden to a number of city ordinances to help stem the stormwater tide.

“They are required to submit a permit to install stormwater quality controls, during construction, to mitigate any of the runoff that would occur,” said Eric Wenger, Public Works Director with the City of Oklahoma City.

The project is a team effort. It’s led by A-List Construction, but designed and engineered by Johnson and Associates. Earth/dirt work is being handled by Burns Paving.

An official with A-List tells KFOR that all of the proper stormwater measures were in place, but were ineffective against the level of rain seen that morning.

The project’s stormwater permit was briefly placed under violation, following an inspection by the city after the rain.

“[In this case] several of those systems failed,” said Wenger. “Which is a lot of the reason for all of the muddy water in the streets and some of the flooded areas.”

Water has long since receded, but the cleanup continues.

Families have been forced to rent large construction receptacles, to help dump their ruined furniture and carpet.

“This entire garage was full of mud,” said Christine. “They had to power wash it out.”

Making matters worse, Christine Selco is battling stage four cancer. She and her husband now face a $7,500 cleanup bill.

Christine says someone should step up and make her neighborhood whole.

“Picking up that bill and paying it for us,” she added.

An official with A-List Construction tells KFOR they are still working to find what steps come next, and who might be liable in this case. We’re told the rain was abnormally heavy during this event, and that any stormwater retention issues have been rectified.

The neighborhood is not in a flood zone, and as a result none of the homeowners KFOR met with have flood insurance.

City officials ask anyone affected to contact the Public Works Department.

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