Oakmont Commons residents ask council to help with flooding concerns

September 15, 2018

Oakmont Commons residents want some flood relief.

Several members of its homeowners association recently went before council, shared their flooding stories with photos and videos, and requested something be done.

“We need help, and we need it now,” association board President Kim Butler said.

Residents along the 100 block of Commons Drive said floods are caused mostly by runoff from a hillside along 13th Street. Others said culverts get more than halfway full and less effective during heavy rains.

The association spent at least $20,000 in flood mitigation efforts within the past few years.

“This does not count the numerous homeowners that have installed sump pumps and taken measures on their own,” Butler said. “In 2016, homeowners brought to the attention of the board an increase in water problems far worse than what we had estimated.”

Property Manager Kelly Ligon showed flooding clips from Aug. 29, 2016, and Aug. 13, 2018, among other dates. She said there’s been ponding at New London Lane and Commons Drive, as well as a French drain failure.

After further discussion, council agreed to have Senate Engineers draft specifications for two new catch basins along the 200 block of Commons Drive.

Councilman Tim Favo said he understands there are multiple areas that need to be addressed.

“I know we’re probably dealing with about six to eight different things we need to do up there,” he said. “Let’s take care of one piece while we can.”

The homeowners association used Gateway Engineers to analyze its flooding issues.

Councilman Justin Lokay suggested having people from both firms compare notes and get on the same page so the borough can explore more options.

“A few more drains isn’t going to solve anything,” Lokay said. “I think there needs to be a larger plan.”

It was unclear how much the two new proposed catch basins would cost or when they would be installed.

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