EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. (KMOV.com) -- An Edwardsville, Illinois family says they feel trapped in their home with a backyard that severely floods every time it rains.
The Cann family told News 4 they knew the yard was prone to flooding when they moved in, but had no idea the extent of the runoff until they had between four and five feet of water in their yard. They're fighting with City Hall to avoid a fine of $500 a day.
“Our fence is between four and four and a half foot tall and you could see just the tip of the fence,” said Stacy Cann, the homeowner. When the nearby culvert overflows, it dumps several feet of water into their backyard, even submerging the family pool in muddy water. “They're using our yard as a retention pond and basically we're paying taxes on land that we can't use,” Cann added.
Fearing their basement wall could cave in, or one of their children could be hurt, the couple built a six-foot dirt berm to prevent the flooding. Not long after, they received a letter from Edwardsville City Hall saying the makeshift dam was an ordinance violation and if they didn't remove it they'd be forced to $500 a day until it was removed.
News 4 reached out to the city to see where the responsibility lies. The engineer assigned to this case said that while the culvert does belong to the city, the house and pool were built in a flood plain. The engineer said the owners acknowledged that when they moved in, therefore waiving the city of responsibility.
“We've seen it flood in a matter of minutes,” Cann said. “It would suck somebody through that tiny little culvert in no time. It’s just upsetting that they know it's a safety hazard and they won't do anything about it."
The couple says they will continue to try to work with the city, but in the event they cannot come to an agreement they are talking about retaining an attorney.