Heavy Rain Eroding Council Bluffs Creek

By: Melina MatthesMMatthes@kptm.comOMAHA (kptm) - People living near a creek in Council Bluffs now face the chance of flooding.That's because the creek keeps eating up their back yards and now Council Bluffs city officials are speaking out.They said they won't do anything to fix the problem. The city said people living there need to pay to fix things and the people living there say that isn't going to happen.Homeowners said heavy rain trickling down the hill near Franklin Street has caused the creek to erode even faster. They said part of their land is falling into the ditch. They want a solution, but the city says it's not its problem."In this particular case we don't even have the legal authority to go onto these properties and do anything," Public Works Director, Greg Reeder said.That's because the creek is on private property. However the landowners said the pipes belong to the city, so they want the city to fix it."My yard is decaying, falling every time it rains. We get water through here that's just creating a huge problem. I mean chunks of my property are falling and I just would like it fixed," Dani Ginn said.Reeder said even if it was up to the city to fix the creek, he said mother nature is already trying to fix the problem."One of the things we look at is piping it; the other would be re-establishing a ditch through there."And he said that would take even more of the homeowners land as well as the surrounding trees, something the neighborhood didn't want to pay for 30 years ago when the problem was first brought to city council."Everybody in that valley was being charged, but the actual improvement was just in that ditch so it met with a lot of opposition. Folks did not feel they should be charged if it wasn't their property and I recall a lot of people whose ditch was in the background didn't like the idea of the trees getting cut down, so it had almost no support whatsoever and so the council just backed off and said ok fine we won't do it," Reeder said."We've got the whole neighborhood that's willing to support. I mean they're all here, they're all complaining, and they all have problems. I mean it's not just my yardthat's losing; it's creating more problems as you go down. I mean they're supportive now and will be," Ginn said.Reeder said no matter whose responsibility the creek is, it's up to the entire neighborhood to agree on a solution. He said it's the only way to get things done. City officials said the ditch is not unique, especially this spring. They said the amount of rain we've had so far is more than usual and it has caused drainage issues all over the city. "Like" Melina on Facebook and follow her on Twitter to stay connected.