SPOKANE, Wash. – Last month, we told you about a homeowner fighting to get answers about a water drainage problem that was seemingly getting worse with each passing day.
“There is like a natural spring next-door to my house,” Lakotah Rangel said. “My guess is it's freezing, and the water can't go back down. It's flooding the street and the sidewalk.”
When temperatures were freezing last month, Lakotah showed us the ice it had created, in some spots, several inches thick. On days with snow, the danger was easily camouflaged. He did his best to try to handle in with various products and methods, and even put up signs warning anyone walking in the area.
“It’s been melting for (days now)…and you can see how thick the ice is still,” he said.
Security footage from his home captured the water moving closer and closer to his home each day. Because it was originating from a property he does not own, he felt stuck.
“Had it made it into the house, then I'm responsible,” he said. “I don't know what to do with that water.”
Lakotah reached out to our ‘Help Me Hayley’ because he said this isn’t just a concern in the winter with ice. He said he fears as it warms up, kids might come to the swamp-like area to explore, not knowing how deep it could be.
“My nephew when they come, they try to check it out,” he said. “I can tell them to (stay away) but if someone else's kid comes by, I might not know.”
Our ‘Help Me Hayley’ first reached out to the City of Spokane about this issue in mid-February. They made plans to check out exactly what was going on. Soon after, a city spokesperson said in part, ‘We engaged our wastewater/stormwater team to take a look. It turns out that this location has had a problem with groundwater and drainage for years. When Freya was rebuilt years ago, drain tile and a perforated pipe was installed under the sidewalk that leads to a sump that wastewater maintains, which helps to take away the water. The line was clogged with roots and ice. Our teams were able to clear out the obstructions and greatly improve the drainage.’
The city is now considering additional work as it warms up to further improve conditions. Lakotah left grateful and relieved to finally have some answers.
“We didn't know what else to do,” he said.
If you find issues along your property as everything starts to unthaw, you can report it to the City using with ‘My Spokane 311’ app. Through the app, you can report a problem directly to the department who may be able to help.