UNION — With multiple heavier than usual rain events over the past two years the City of Union has experienced repeated flooding issues.
Certain residential properties have ended up underwater, including City Manager John Applegate’s property on West Martindale Road. City streets have ended up underwater in some neighborhoods with rain water overwhelming the city’s storm sewer system.
City officials have inspected the storm sewers to check for potential issues. Aside from debris washing into the system after heavy rain events the system was found to be operating properly.
Last year on July 6 the city received 6.34 inches of rain in one day that triggered widespread property and street flooding. On Tuesday, April 3 another heavy rain event saw Union experience 3.24 inches of rain in a short period of time.
The city has had crews working on Phillipsburg-Union Road to widen, deepen and increase the slope to the Hartman Creek ditch. According to Applegate the channel’s depth was increased by about two feet.
“We have increased the velocity of the water flow by lowering the bottom, which lets the water get away faster,” Applegate said. “I’m not saying that on any given day we might have Mother Nature decide to give us a 100-year storm, so we could still have problems with flooding, but this time we only had a little bit of water on Applegate Road and Krug Drive. The creek did back up, because when I see it at my house I know it is backing up. Like I told one of the residents who called me who lives by the detention pond, when that box culvert is running full that means it is backing up.”
The city is doing additional work to address the issue, but the work performed thus far has already helped to alleviate flooding problems Applegate noted.
The city plans to replace 20 feet of 48 inch sewer line where the Hartman Creek goes from an open ditch into the storm sewer system. The 48 inch line connects to a 60 inch line. The city will replace the 48 inch section with a 60 inch pipe to help improve drainage.
“That project was not anticipated this year, but by replacing that 48 inch pipe with a 60 it will help even more,” Applegate said. “We plan to begin that project in the next 35 to 40 days.”