JEFFERSONVILLE, Ind. (WAVE) - Forced out for the fourth time in a year and a half, 18 residents of M Fine apartments in Jeffersonville had to be evacuated after two or three feet of water gushed into the first floor Tuesday.
This area of Spring Street is the lowest point in the whole city of Jeffersonville, so flooding has always been an issue until the city took steps to stop it in 2010.
The City of Jeffersonville says the owner of the apartments, New Hope Services, knew about the flooding issues. The City was concerned about developing on the property.
You can see the question raised in zoning board meeting minutes from the original re-zoning back in 2014. The city attorney said the flooding issues were the city’s responsibility, not that of the developers.
"Even after yesterday’s flooding, nobody checked those drains,” New Hope Services President James Bosley said.
Bosley claimed the city hasn’t been doing its part.
"Yesterday, we had two inches and flooding occurred,” Bosley said. “On Sunday, we had three inches and there was no flooding, so something transpired between Sunday and yesterday. We assume that was when the storm sewers started to get clogged up.”
Pictures from the morning after show a flower pot among the debris Bosle said clogged the pipe completely.
“It was basically stagnant, it was not going down the drain at all,” Bosley said. “The water even went in the front door yesterday and it’s never done that before.”
After a new drainage ditch was constructed in 2010, the previous property owners, as well as Bosley, who purchased the property in 2014, said they experienced no flooding until 2018.
“We hired an engineer last time who did a study on the flooding and he found it was completely and totally a result of lack of maintenance of the system,” Bosley said.
The engineer said debris was choking off the flow of water that should have reached the 10th Street pump station, so Bosley has filed a lawsuit over that 2018 flooding costing over $400,000 in damage.
Residents in those 18 first-floor apartments will not be allowed back until a permanent solution can be found.
They’ve either been given a new unit on another floor of the building or in any of the other buildings NHS owns. Some still remain in hotels.