Sand Springs woman fights flooding from water run-off for years; Problem Solvers step in to help

"Our yard is pretty much just basically washing away."

Watching video Cindy Wilson shot on her iPhone, it looks like a raging river has ripped through her property.

Wilson has been fighting the forces of nature for more than 20 years.

"It started as a little bitty ditch," the Sand Springs woman said, standing over a ditch that measures more than four feet deep and four feet wide in some places.

"Every time it rains I cross my fingers it's not going to flood the yard."

Wilson believes her previous next-door neighbor made the the flooding problem even worse after building a levee that pushes water onto her property.

For years she tried to get help from Tulsa County, but because the flooding is on private property, the county legally can't do anything about it.

"I get so shook up about it," Wilson paused. "I can't hardly talk sometimes."

In despair, the Sand Springs woman came to the Pop-Up Problem Solvers, with decades of documents, hoping we could help.

The 2NEWS Problem Solvers got hydrologist Janet Meshek to come out to Wilson's house and assess the drainage damage, free of charge.

"It's a serious problem," Meshek said.

The two look over a photo album of flooding photos Wilson had captured over the years.

"It's a river," Meshek said.

"It is a river," Wilson laughed.

Meshek found the levee does in fact, illegally divert all the water from their property to Wilson's property. The current is so strong that the ditch created to carry the water downstream is eroding.

"It's a natural process for unnatural situation in this case," Meshek said.

The CEO of Meshek and Associates Inc. sai building a terrace to level out the yard could divert the run-off back to the creek.

Clearing out the ditch and putting down a rock bottom would also allow for better water flow.

And Meshek also said there might still be an opportunity to get the county to create a culvert, which would carry the remaining run-off across the road.

"I'm just so thankful for all your help so far and I hope it continues until we can figure out what we can do," Wilson said.

The Problem Solvers are still tracking Wilson's progress and will continue to track this problem.


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