Neighborhood flooded with frustration

Published 04/11 2013 09:33PM

Updated 04/12 2013 12:14PM

CHAMPAIGN -- One man says he's fed up with flood waters on his street and he's calling on his neighbors for help.

"We need something done out here so we don't wake up with two inches of water in our house," says Hack Martin.

The Wilbur Heights neighborhood was built in the 1920's. County officials say flooding has always been a problem, but one man says that's no excuse and he's Taking Action.

Hack Martin is calling county, city and township officials. He says his neighborhood is zoned in such a way that all three have a say and he hopes it will help them get a better drainage system for his street.

After a good rain, it's draining for Martin to just walk out of his driveway.

"It can get a little frustrating," says Martin.

That frustration has driven him to do something about it.

"I am mad at the city, county, township, whoever is responsible for the drainage in this area that just won't do it. And we've been on them for years," says Martin.

Since a trucking company built up the land across the street, Martin says each time it rains the flooding gets worse.

"If we could just get somebody to drain this water out of here, me and the trucking company both would be ecstatic," says Martin.

Recently Martin says he, the trucking company and the rest of his neighbors have started to work together to get answers. However, Martin says most of the time he gets, "I'll have so and so go and check that or inspect that and it never gets done."

Champaign County Director of Zoning and Planning John Hall says the neither the county nor the township has money to put in a better drainage system. Martin says he'll keep pushing the issue as long as it takes because for him, it isn't about money. After 14 years, it comes down to respect.

"This neighborhood has always kind of been considered the cheap seats and a lot of people don't have a lot of respect for this neighborhood because they don't live here and don't know the kind of people we have here. We have great people here," says Martin.

John Hall says there's only been one time where the city, county and township have come together for a drainage problem. That was for a subdivision in Urbana. Hall says that could be one way to get money to fix this area but, right now, there is no plan to do so.

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