Syracuse (WSYR-TV) -- Residents on parts of Syracuse’s South Side have been living in swamp-like conditions for more than a year. We first told you about this story back in November. And now, the city is finally stepping in to help.
For residents along Armstrong Place, water has taken over. They believe the flooding started when a neighbor who lived on property higher up allowed illegal dumping on his property. It’s a private property issue, but the city says it’s a quality-of-life issue and the mayor’s office has stepped in to help.
Scott Herring, whose home is flooded, told NewsChannel 9, “It's a constant pain. In summer, I’ve got to deal with mosquitoes in the front yard; my kids can't play outside anymore. I hear the water 24/7/365. That's a big stress and headache.”
Herring has constantly been pumping water out of his basement and the water is swallowing his neighbor's shed, and has now reached the basement of a third house.
“We’re very frustrated... at this point we can’t say what we’re going to do for sure, but something has to be done,” said resident Fred Arcadi.
Residents don’t have the resources to figure out what’s causing the flooding and that’s why the city has stepped in.
Syracuse Director of Mayoral Initiatives Tim Carroll said, “We had the fire department pump this out and it returned within 24 hours. While it was dry we had our engineering department have their surveyors take some measurements to see if a drain could somehow be constructed here and tie it out to the street to the city's storm sewer system.”
That drain option will cost between nine and $15,000 -- a bill residents can't afford.
So who’s responsible? Herring and Arcadi say an adjacent neighbor on the other side of the water. The owner is in the middle of a code violation case for allowing illegal dumping of construction debris. When the dumping started on the higher property, so did the flooding.
“The situation is frankly one on private property. This is not a situation where the city can come barge through people's houses and install a public system on private property,” Carroll said.
So, residents are left to foot the bill or go to court. Another expense they can’t afford.
The city is looking into possible legal help for the homeowners. Carroll says he met with the water department and they’re looking into less expensive, more “green” options. But construction can’t happen until spring or summer.
The city is planning to meet with all the property owners in the area next week.