Drain Clog Causes Flooding Near At Least One Home in Barry County

Posted at 8:14 PM, Apr 26, 2013

The Barry County Drain Commissioner, Russ Yarger, said a home on Carlton Center East near Hastings experienced flooding in their yard this week due to a clogged drain.

He said the drain was repaired and flooding in the Topp family’s yard had been draining for three days.

However, the Kaufman family across the street, who had their home completely overrun by flooding, is still working to figure out what happened at their home.

The family doesn’t live near a lake or river, so the flooding was a shock.

The water finally began to flow out of the basement after the family began pumping it out, and by Friday morning, they could walk in their basement again.

“It was great, when he called me this morning and told me that the water was out of the house,” said Heather Kaufman.

Heather’s husband Kevin had dug a trench from the back lawn to the ditch near Carlton Center East and the water was flowing through both the ditch and a pump that the United Way had provided for the family.

Neighbors in the area were wondering if the county’s drainage system was the problem.

Several of the expressed those concerns to FOX 17.

We discovered that drainage in some areas of the county is handled by tile, which is typically a series of pipes that run below the surface of the fields, taking the water elsewhere.

Neighbors correctly speculated the tiles may have collapsed, creating a dam effect, sending the water to other areas instead.

Drain Commissioner Russ Yarger said the tile, which was installed in the 1900’s had collapsed and broken in one area, causing flooding into the yard of the home across the street from the Kaufman’s.

It sends the water to the Little Thornapple River.

He said the drain had been clogged, but was cleared Tuesday night at around 9:00 pm.

Yarger said the flooding at the neighbor’s home had nothing to do with the flooding at the Kaufman’s house.

He said the Kaufman’s flooding came from a swamp that was located in a field behind their house.

Meanwhile, the family is cleaning up and assessing the damage.

Mold is growing on the dresser Heather’s dad built as well as on her baby’s crib and the drywall.

Their toilet in the basement when flushed is also pushing water up into the shower.

“I can do a lot of work, it`s just a matter of getting the materials,” said Kevin.

Kevin and Heather’s son Alex is celebrating a first birthday next Friday.

A FOX 17 viewer offered to buy him a present to boost the young family’s spirits.

“It was sweet,  it brought tears to my eyes,” said Heather.

FOX 17 Viewers have been asking how they can pay it forward to the family.

See that list in the story link below: