AMES, Iowa -- Victor Hill of Ames wishes he could enjoy the last few moments of summer in his backyard. "Truly lake front property, that you don't want."
Recent rainfall has been devastating to his neighborhood. Making mini-lakes out of backyards along 228th place in the Boone County portion of Ames. Hill said, "It's not just my house, it's this house, his house, my neighbor's house."
It's also Kevin Culp's house. He says repeated rains this summer have left garages, sheds and fences damaged beyond repair. "You just have to wonder how long is it going to take to go away this time? It might be a week, two weeks," said Culp.
Many have reached out to Boone county officials without success. Culp said, "The county says it's not their problem." The hassle is serious but residents believe a solution should be simple. "Just dig a ditch back here and this water will run out because the tile is running that way to the fields," said Hill, directing towards the east of his property. Hill says the three members on the Boone County Board of Supervisors are refusing to help but he hopes seeing is believing. "It's easy to say no when you are sitting behind a desk. You have to come and see what these homeowners are dealing with before you can say our hands our tied."
The frustration alone may cause many to move but it is bigger than that. Hill said, "If I were to sell, I couldn't get the value for my home because of the water issue."
Some residents say recent development is making that issue worse. "Businesses back here that didn't used to be there. Now they've got big driveways and they send all their water this way," said Culp.
An issue that is leaving these Boone County residents with a constant reminder of hopelessness. Hill said, "We have nowhere for the water to go. He added, "We pay our taxes and we are being told there is nothing they are going to do."
Residents along 228th Place say they've reached out to U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley and State Senator Jerry Behn for help on the issue. The Boone County Board of Supervisors did not return phone calls or emails in response to this story Wednesday evening.