Flooding fiasco: Residents say city responsible for damaged homes

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Flooding fiasco: Residents say city responsible for damaged homes

By Marcelino Benito. CREATED Jul 22, 2013

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - One east side neighborhood dealing with a flooding fiasco of it's own. Flash flood waters severely damaging homes. And homeowners blame the City and ongoing construction.

Pictures sent to us by 9OYS viewers tell it all. This year the monsoon has just battered Houghton Road. Mailboxes and sports cars were nearly completely covered by water.

"I had no idea the water came up that fast," said Dr. Susan Sasiadek.

All that water flowed into Mesquite Ranch earlier this month. And it happened again this past weekend when the water creeped up out of the pond and into the road.

"I was in a panic mode getting sandbags up, trying to protect anything I could," said Sasiadek.

All this damage comes at a price for neighbors.

"We're not able to stay in our house presently," said Kevin Johnston.

Johnston lives in Mesquite Ranch and is facing at least $20,000 worth of damage. He blames the City and the ongoing Houghton Road project.

"When it all comes out, you're going to see they're all trying to cover themselves," said Johnston.

The city held a meeting Monday afternoon about the project. They heard from a handful of upset, flooded out neighbors. 9OYS showed up to ask questions of our own.

"Did the road cause it, no, we're trying to fix it," said TDOT Director Daryl Cole.

9OYS pushed again.

Reporter Marcelino Benito asked "Did the City do anything to contribute to what happened?"

Cole replied, "Well, yes there have been some contributing factors."

But Cole places most of the blame on an unprecedented weather event that dropped more than two inches of rain on the area. Chances of that happening again, he says "aren't very likely."

Neighbors hope he's right, but they know it's monsoon. The road isn't fixed and when menacing clouds pop up, they fear the floods could flow again.

"Every time rain comes up, I'm on edge," said Johnston.

The City says its changed their construction schedule up a bit to prevent more flooding. Meanwhile neighbors still left footing a huge bill. Homeowners insurance doesn't cover flood damage. Homeowners have to purchase a separate policy. They've submitted claims to Hunter, the company contracted to do the construction.  So far neighbors have not heard back.

UPDATE: The City told 9OYS Tuesday night that they are not responsible for the flooding problem. They say if anyone's responsible, it's Hunter, the contractor company. 9OYS did get a hold of the contractor, The company tells us they have received a total of 5 claims. Their insurance company is investigating. There's not timetable for that investigation to wrap up.

Hunter says concerned residents can call Peter Collins at (520) 628-7070. If you do not hear from the contractor in regards to your claim, call the 9OYS newsroom at (520) 290-7700.

9OYS also talked to the National Weather Service to get more details about the July 5th storm that caused so much damage. The NWS says according to their data this storm classified as a "100-year storm". Approximately 2.6 inches of rain fell in an hour's time.

The NWS says flooding would have happened anywhere this storm struck. The degree and extent of that flooding is dependent on a range of factors including roads and construction projects.