Neighbors Fear Church Expansion Will Lead to More Flooding

DES MOINES, Iowa — As Saint Joseph’s Church on Des Moines’ east side grows, so do concerns from neighbors about flooding.

In Julie Hess’ back yard is a drainage pipe that carries all the storm water from the church property on to her property. Over the years, she says, the water has eroded her back yard and damaged her home. “When I first moved here this crack was maybe about this..this deep,” Hess says, pointing to a large crack in her patio, “And as you can see it’s gotten quite a bit deeper. Over here you can see that this is starting to separate. Getting worse and worse and worse.”

Now, as the church expands, she is worried that means more run off. But city engineers assure us, that isn’t the case. They say the design should mean less storm run off for neighbors.

“We did get calls from neighbors so our project engineer in charge of the design convinced the designers to slow that water down,” says Des Moines Permit Administrator Ross Stafford.

The city says excess water run off will be piped to a new retaining pond just north of the church.

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