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Mason City, Plymouth Road residents discuss solutions to flooding

"They're moving forward and that's all we can do."

Posted: Dec 12, 2018 11:52 PM

MASON CITY, Iowa – It is an ongoing problem that some Mason City residents consider a thorn in their side.

In October, flood waters rose as a result from the East and West ponds along Plymouth Road not having a large enough capacity. It wasn’t the first time the waters haven risen or caused damage to homes.

Wednesday night, homeowners from the Plymouth Road neighborhood were invited to a meeting with members of the city administration to talk potential fixes which included new culverts and overflows.

During the meeting, they were presented with maps and images dating as far back as the 1950s. These images depicted the standing water and how the landscape has changed over the last several decades.

At the end of the meeting, attendees were presented with several potential solutions to the flooding:

  1. Land use changes – this would essentially use natural methods, such as plants and agriculture, to help divert the water. This was deemed not feasible.
  2. 12th Street overflow – the construction of 5,000 feet of new storm sewer drainage at a slope of 0.2%. While this was viewed as feasible, it was not suggested because of the low slope and current sewer drains are already at their capacity. It is also not cost effective.
  3. Northwest overflow – a culvert would be placed under the golf cart path between the front and back nine. This was viewed as cost effective and feasible.
  4. Railroad overflow – a culvert would be bored under the railroad increasing downstrewam runoff. This was also viewed as cost effective and feasible.
  5. Additional considerations – connecting the ponds via-road culvert, cobing options three and four with a flap gate for the golf course culvert (once the water goes through, it cannot come back in the reverse direction), and/or dry hydrants for pumps to be hooked up to.

Of the five options, Robert O’Donnell favored one over the rest.

“Putting the culvert in under Plymouth Road,” said O’Donnell, a homeowner whose home was destroyed by floodwaters. “We know there’s one there, it needs opened back up, and putting the culvert in on the golf course track – that used to be a 30-foot ravine.”

While O’Donnell and his wife anxiously await for a decision and progress to be made, they, as well as other residents, applaud the city for its effort to make progress.

“They have done a lot of work and I’m very impressed with Nte and all the work that he has done,” said Stephanie O’Donnell. “It’s good to know they’re working – they’re moving forward and that’s all we can do one day at a time.

City officials say they hope to have a solution in place to negate the flooding in January, with shovels hitting the dirt as early as spring.

KIMT will continue to follow this story as it develops.

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