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Butler County backyards taken over by floodwater, geese

Posted at 11:05 PM, Feb 14, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-15 01:37:09-05

Rainwater doesn’t leave Sheila Sessler’s Butler County neighborhood after a storm, she said Thursday. It sticks around, pooling in the dip between homes and turning paddock-fenced backyards into mucky ponds.

Then come the geese and the goose poop, and everything gets worse. It's not a good thing to see from the back porch, Sessler said.

“I love to fish,” she said. “I go down to Dale Hollow to fish. This is not where I want to fish.”

She and her neighbors said they believe the source of the problem is below the surface, where a pair of dry wells installed by the home developer in 2008 may have failed.

The most recent spate of flooding began in April 2018, forcing many of them to purchase or rent pumps and generators to keep the water out of their basements.

It’s reoccurred since, including earlier this week when rain took over the Tri-State.

Justin Moon, who leaves his sump pump running all night to keep water from reaching his basement, said neither he nor his neighbors were ever told about water issues before they moved in. According to him, some became so frustrated they moved out.

He’s frustrated, too, but staying.

“I want to see the problem fixed,” he said. “I don’t want to pass the problem off for someone else to deal with. It was done to us when we moved in, and I don’t want to do it to somebody else.”

In a way, he added, the flood-fighting efforts were strengthening the community by forcing neighbors to work together and meet one another, some for the first time.

Those community ties are why Sessler won’t leave, either.

“I love where I live,” she said. “I love the people. My kids grew up here. I like what I’ve done to my house. I look at the picture, ‘Does it make sense to continue to add equity into the home or do I want to walk away?’ I’m not a person to walk away from barriers or challenges.”

She and Moon both said they hoped the home developers would work with them to find a solution.

Said developers, when contacted by WCPO, said Thursday was the first they had heard about flooding issues in the neighborhood. A representative promised to investigate the problem.