Neighbor takes flood mitigation into his own hands

By Lindsey Gordon

Published 07/12 2014 06:24PM

Updated 07/14 2014 10:58AM

CHAMPAIGN COUNTY -- Flash flooding was a major issue all over. In Urbana, high waters kept people from getting to their homes. WCIA-3’s Lindsey Gordon has the story.

Along Mumford Drive, one man took action to help waters recede. He was clearing the drains on the street by himself.

Jeff Headtke has lived in Urbana for nine years. On the way home Saturday morning, he dodged flooding in Champaign only to find his own street had turned into a river.

"Occasionally we have this type of flooding, but not to this severity," said Headtke.

Affectionately he and his neighbors call it “Mumford River.”

Headtke has taken matters into his own hands trying to make sure all the drains in his neighborhood are clear. He says it’s worked in the past.  

"I gave it the best college-try for being a good neighbor and trying to get our street back and reclaim it from Mumford Lake," he jokes.

One car stalled out trying to cross it. Most stopped, turned around and found another way out. Urbana got about four inches of water in four hours. That’s why Headtke thinks it was so bad.

"It's that we had rain too fast and in a short period of time that I think it overwhelmed our sewer system," he said.

He adds that it could have been worse, "There is hope for us."

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