West Haven neighborhood frustrated by continued flooding

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WEST HAVEN--Lydia Street in West Haven sits in a bowl. It is surrounded by hills on three sides, which spells trouble during heavy rain. But, the topography isn't as much of an issue as improper drainage.

Residents says they've been told by Public Works employees that the street’s drainage pipe is not large enough in diameter to handle the massive amount of rain runoff. That’s led to some of their valuables going down the drain.

“We've had a car ruined because the water levels just rise,” said Dave Irving, who has lived with his four siblings and mother on Lydia Street since the late 1990s. “I used to love the rain man. I used to love the noise of the rain. I used to love everything about it. And now, every time it rains, I cringe."

Shirleen Waller, a 27-year resident of Lydia Street, says she and other neighbors have been visible and vocal at City Council meetings. But their concerns fall on deaf ears, she says.

Fox Connecticut reached out to First term mayor, Ed O’Brien, to relay residents frustrations. So, he visited the neighborhood to see firsthand what the homeowners are up against.

“The way I understand it, there is a blockage in the pipe,” said O’Brien. “They sent a camera in and, about 10 feet in, they found tree stumps and roots. We have to find out who owns that tree. The tree is on private property.”

But Waller just shook her head.

“I've heard that story from the city engineer,” said Waller. “I heard it from the workers. Fix the problem!”

“I do believe we do need a larger pipe, but it's something we're looking at with the engineers,” said O’Brien.

And, will cost determine how the problem is addressed?

“I think we have to take care of it no matter what the cost is,” said O’Brien.

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