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Springfield Street Flooding Could Continue Without Needed Upgrades

Updated: Friday, June 27 2014, 05:02 PM CDT
Rain plagued, that's how you can describe the month of June which has been keeping area public works crews busy dealing with flooding.

Unfortunately, a solution to the problem may not be coming anytime soon.

It's a scene that has become common this summer, roads underwater after heavy rains.

"We have drainage problems, we know that," said Director of Public Works Mark Mahoney.

So far this June, more than 8.5 inches of rain has fallen in Springfield, when the norm is just above 3.5 inches.

Flooding problems could continue, but Springfield needs to address an even larger problem, one that comes with a hefty price tag. That is replacing the city's 100 year old storm water sewer system.

The price tag is more than 100 million dollars.

"To upgrade the system to where we would like it we just don't have the funds to do that. We have been doing a lot more in recent years with the infrastructure than we have in a long time, so it's going to help significantly," said Mahoney.

A fix is what the Hoogland Center for the Arts has been waiting years for.

"Whenever it rains really heavily in the downtown area sometimes we find ourselves in the situation where the city sewers can't handle that kind of impact all at once," said Executive Director, Gus Gordon.

The most recent issues came on June 4th when more than inch of rain fell in less than a hour.

The basement filled with water, causing damage and shifting schedules.

"It makes us scramble. It makes us rearrange events. We could have functions downstairs in our basement that we have to move to a different floor. When we are already booked with something else that makes it very difficult," said Gordon.

With no permanent fix in sight, Springfield Public Works crews are cleaning out storm drains in problem areas and addressing any major flooding immediately.

"When we know there is an issue in the area, our sewer division goes in and tried to figure out a way to deal with it," said Mahoney.

Flooding issues aren't just happening here at the Hoogland, further up 6th street multiple businesses had water in this basements this month.

One resident has had their basement flooded twice this month.

Recently there was an added sewer tax for Springfield residents to contend with, but that cost won't cover storm drain repairs. Instead that money will be used for a sanitary sewer system.Springfield Street Flooding Could Continue Without Needed Upgrades

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