After Flooding, Fort Gibson Residents Say They're Dealing With Sewage Issues
FORT GIBSON, Oklahoma - A neighborhood in Fort Gibson is again dealing with water issues. The heavy rains last week flooded a number of homes in the city, and Sunday night's rain caused a new wave of trouble.
Homeowners along South Avenue said it is now sewage issues they are dealing with. Any little bit of rain, they say, and their yards are flooded and their toilets are overflowing.
Kyrsten Willey gave us a tour of her neighbor's backyard. The water line is causing issues for the whole neighborhood.
"Water just bubbling out all down the yard," Willey said.
She said sewage water poured out of her toilets.
Just one week ago, an overflowing creek completely flooded her house.
"I'm already at over $20,000 in damages on my home. Servepro just pulled out their fans and heaters out of my house Saturday, and now it's kind of like, is this gonna happen every time it rains? Are we gonna have sewage backing up in the home," she asked.
Fort Gibson Mayor Brad Clinkenbeard took a look at the yard as well. He acknowledged there is a problem thanks to old pipes and engineering.
While they look into that problem, he said the city is already working on raising the height of some of the manhole covers.
But is this sewer water or simply just ground water runoff thanks to all the rain?
"I know DEQ is coming back tomorrow to do a dye test on some of our system down in here to really see where that water flows and, kinda, what's going on with it," Clinkenbeard said.
If it turns out to be sewage, the city could be held responsible.
While the tests from the Department of Environmental Quality are pending, Willey wants more answers.
"When you get water out of the sink it smells like sewage water" she said. "Can we drink that can we bathe in that, is it safe that my kids are walking in the yard?"
Willey said a number of the homeowners have hired lawyers, even though the city, last week, provided them with insurance claim forms.
Some residents are planning to move. The mayor said he would love for the city to buy the homes and turn it into a park. That is up for discussion at next Monday's city council meeting.