Redwood City neighborhood flooded

January 7, 2008 7:05:04 PM PST
Rising water is a perennial problem for part of Redwood City.

People there say it floods almost every year in big storms-- the last few days, no exception. It's an area known as Friendly Acres or the East Bayshore neighborhood.

They've complained about it for years-- but feel like no one is listening.

"In the middle of the street it was up to about here," said Redwood City resident Milton Kubiak.

Milton Kubiak is tired of seeing his neighborhood flooded like it was Friday night after the storm. Residents had to wade through almost three feet of water in the streets. Since 1984 he's complained about constant flooding.

"It just doesn't work they put new sewers in, bigger sewer pipes in but it doesn't flood as often as it used to but it still floods at least once a year," said Kubiak.

Robert Gonzalez says the water damage has been costly in the 25 years his family has been here.

"Collectively through the years thousands, thousands," said Redwood City resident Robert Gonzalez.

"Atherton's drainage, Menlo Park's drainage all flows to us we're like the bottom of the bathtub drain and we pump it out," said Redwood City Public Works Superintendent Marilyn Harang.

Marilyn Harang the public works superintendent for Redwood City was hired ten years ago to fix the flooding issues here in the East Bayshore neighborhoods of the city. She says a $17 to $18 million dollar multi-year strategy started in 2000 to alleviate the flooding is still in the works.

"We pump out to the bay to keep the bay tides from surging in on us we have the tide gates. So we close the tide gates so the bay can't come in which means our drainage can't get out," said Harang.

The gates allow water to flow into the bay during storms. But when the tide is as high as the gates, they stay closed.

The storm water then backs up. Water will always seek the lowest level and for many years it has ended up being an East Bayshore neighborhood. The city says it has to replace the outdated pumps it now uses in order to move this water out efficiently.

Redwood City says new water pumps will end the flooding in these neighborhoods. But those pumps won't be installed until the last phase of the project in three to five years.