Neighbors on flood-prone Parma street fear the worst ahead of storm

Posted at 11:11 PM, Jul 12, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-12 23:12:34-04

With a flash flood watch in effect, homeowners in a flood-prone section of Parma are fearing the worst.

Sean Novak says sewer flooding has been an issue for years on Westminster Drive.

On June 30, his basement flooded for about the eighth time. After doing an interview with News 5, he said a phone call from Mayor Tim DeGeeter made him feel better about the recurring issue.

“I met with the mayor, the service director, the sewer supervisor and another gentleman,” Novak said. "There’s no doubt that there’s a problem and I feel like the administration understands that there’s a problem and that they’re actually willing to see it through to completion.”

But Novak’s neighbor, Michael Burk is not so sure. He came home from vacation last week to find his basement flooded as well. Hours after drying out the furnace, he said it caught fire right in front of his eyes.

“I was right there,” Burk said. "I was looking for tools and I was like, ‘Holy crap. What was that?’ and I saw something out of the corner of my eye and…it went up in flames.”

Burk said his insurance company canceled their flood insurance years ago and he feels like city hall’s been little help in resolving the ongoing issue.

“What’s the point? I’ve been to city council meetings and all they do is tell us what we want to hear,” Burk said.

News 5 could not immediately reach a city spokesperson Wednesday night, but, in the past, Mayor DeGeeter has said the city will work to fix any damaged culvert pipes and will monitor creek levels to make sure they’re not jammed. News 5 will follow up.