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The drip, drip, drip of neighborhood flooding

How long have you lived in your Naperville house? Do you ever get water in your basement after a heavy rain? Is the problem worse than it was 10 or 20 years ago? If so, why?

Today I heard a resident of an older neighborhood say her basement floods much more often today than years ago. Many houses nearby also have flooding problems. The neighborhood has seen many of the original houses replaced by much larger new houses. Might there be a relationship? Or are we just getting more severe weather?

I suspect several factors are at work. City officials say the new homes are designed with water storage and drainage patterns that will keep neighbors’ homes from getting more storm water. I’m no engineer, so I can’t understand how we can replace an 1,000-square-foot house with a 5,000-square-foot house–that’s a real example, btw–on the same lot and not expect flooding issues nearby.

When I was on City Council, we convinced the staff to speed up improvements to existing underground pipes in Cress Creek, a neighborhood that had flooding issues. (It was low-lying land to begin with.) However, now larger houses are replacing the original homes in Cress Creek and other neighborhoods. Will that cause more flooding? Who should pay for improvements needed to mitigate such problems? Asking for a friend.

Who do you think should pay for the high cost of fixing flooding issues? Every taxpayer? Just those in an affected area? Developers? Let me know at joefornaperville@gmail.com.

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