Flood Recovery: Des Moines Residents Fed Up With Eroding Sewer

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DES MOINES, Iowa– Wednesday the city of Des Moines says crews have more than 300 home inspections left to complete.

The city says the inspections help estimate the monetary value of damage, that’s needed for when the city applies for that FEMA emergency declaration.

Amidst debris removal on 47TH and Holcomb, Des Moines city crews inspected damaged homes.

“The yellow placard means there has been moderate damage,” Cody Christensen with the City of Des Moines said.

Homes like Jamie Smith nearly lost everything.

“The water was up to the top floor of my house, another foot it would have been in the top floor where we live,” Smith said. “They told me to post this on the window of my house, so FEMA would know that they have been here and conducted an inspection of my basement”.

A green placard means the home is safe and, red means condemned deemed too unsafe to live in or rebuild.

“We need to collect this data to quickly get it off to FEMA so we can clearly paint the picture and just how bad the flood damages were,” Christensen said.

Like so many others, collecting data and flood debris removal is something these residents are used to.

“It’s always a terrible situation we have constant flooding at this intersection, constant flooding,” resident Jenni Clise said.

Other residents agree.

“I am so angry about this because I have lived here for 21 years and ten years ago we were told that this sewer at 47th and Holcomb would be addressed, and it still hasn’t,” Smith said. “This is not our fault”.

Des Moines city council says, the city is working to fix the problem.

“We have 100-year-old sewers and we are trying to find the money to do it,” Christopher Coleman Des Moines City Council said.  “Citizens pay into that system, it’s hard to prove when you live 47 blocks from the river because we have to start at the river”.

Smith and others are fed up and, hope the city can replace their eroding sewer so flooding never happens again.

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