Warren officials hear concerns from flood-stricken residents
About 60 people from all corners of the city of Warren filed into council chambers Monday, trying to put their problems and frustrations into focus for council members, the mayor, and city department heads.
A late-night storm on September 13 dumped up to three inches of rain in parts of Trumbull County, leaving several Warren neighborhoods waterlogged.
"I think you have a serious safety issue here," one woman said.
"The water was up to my waist and coming through the windows in my basement," said another neighbor.
Don Bonini said he wants the city to rethink its approach to solving the problem, saying, "It's not just because there were three inches of rain. It's because you've got a problem on one street that we're not correcting and it's coming over onto Foster (Drive)."
"When it comes to stormwater, all situations are individually unique. We have to look at each one," said water pollution department head Ed Haller. "There are times that the city can do something and times where the resident is fully responsible for it."
Many of the folks who spoke said they've tried to do their part - putting in flapper valves and sump pumps - but that hasn't been enough.
Councilman Dan Sferra, who called Monday's meeting, says the city's pipes are up to a century old.
The city's water and pollution control department is in the middle of an EPA-mandated study of areas where stormwater infiltrates the sanitary lines - a problem Boardman is dealing with too.
But the study is going to take time, and so too will a permanent solution.
"There've been sanitary sewer projects in the works for five years," Haller said. "We've now gotten them in design, and we should see them in construction over the next two years.
Haller says that EPA study covers four corners of the city and will be done by the end of this year, while another study will be done in 2020 to cover an additional 12 areas of the worst stormwater infiltration.
Any Warren resident who wants to report flooding after hours, as was the case September 13, can do so at 330-307-4211.