FEMA Helps Pay For Some Storm Sewer Repairs

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DES MOINES, Iowa–  The Des Moines City Council tackled another flood mitigation project that came to light during severe storms this summer.

Heavy rain back in June flooded parts of 51st and Twana.

“It was a shock that we had water in the basement,” resident Melisa Forbes said.

Forbes was not alone.

“The water eroded ten feet of my yard away,” resident Jim Banes said.

Right outside Jim Banes’ front door water filled a low-lying intersection, that stalled cars with people trapped inside.

“We have lived here for 30 years aside from the June 30th incident where Lary Cotlar lost his life, it floods here all the time,” Forbes said.

That’s why the city gave the green light to start the bidding process on a project that will repair the storm water drain system but won’t improve it.

To do that engineers estimate the city must spend $366,000.

The sidewalk on 51st will be repaired along with tree protection, and anti-erosion measures.

85 percent of that money will come from FEMA, the remainder $54,900 from the city’s Storm Utility Fund.

Public Works Director Jonathan Gano says, a long-term solution is years in the works.

“Storm water pipes for a mile or two from that location are part of a 20 to 25-year plan that will deliver larger and more capable infrastructure,” Gano said.