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Edmond homeowners to get relief from flooding

Karen Wheeler is one of 55 people whose property will no longer be in a flood zone, after Edmond City Council members approved a $3.1 million contract to get the homes out of the floodplain.
by Diana Baldwin Modified: August 28, 2013 at 3:00 pm •  Published: August 27, 2013

— Karen Wheeler was relieved to hear Tuesday that the city is getting ready to start work on eliminating flooding in the Willowood housing addition, where she has lived for eight years.

“I was a little irritated,” said Wheeler, 3029 Longsdale Drive. “It has been way too slow.”

Wheeler donated one and a half lots to the city of Edmond a year ago to help get her home and 54 other houses in her neighborhood out of the floodplain.

She wants the work finished so she doesn't have to keep buying flood insurance. She said her mortgage and insurance payment went up $150 because she lives in a flood zone.

Wheeler's home hasn't flooded, because it sits on a hill next door to the Spring Creek tributary that runs through the neighborhood. Her driveway has a steep incline. But her neighbors aren't as fortunate, and high water runs into their homes, she said.

“It has flooded three or four times since I have lived here,” Wheeler said. “Four-by-four trucks couldn't get down the road and they had to turn around. It got bad.”

No one questions the flooding problem in the neighborhood east of Second Street and Coltrane Road. How 55 homes ended up in the floodplain isn't so clear.

City Planner Bob Schiermeyer said floodplain maps in 1983 were not as detailed as today's documents, which clearly show the homes in the floodplain.

“Something wasn't accurate when it was built and I don't know what it was,” said City Engineer Steve Manek. “I have been here 12 years and it has been a long-standing problem.”

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by Diana Baldwin
Sr. Reporter
Diana Baldwin has been an Oklahoma journalist since 1976 and came to The Oklahoman in 1991. She covered the Oklahoma City bombing and covered the downfall of Oklahoma City police forensic chemist Joyce Gilchrist misidentifying evidence. She wrote...
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Something wasn't accurate when it was built and I don't know what it was. I have been here 12 years and it has been a long-standing problem.”

Steve Manek,
City Engineer

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