Neighbors want a fix for Northeast Fresno flooding

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Thunderstorms and heavy downpour Thursday left drivers in Northeast Fresno stalled and stranded, especially near the intersection of Champlain and Perrin.

Tres Jolie Salon Manager Jennifer Montoya says she watched the chaos unfold, "There was no way to avoid a flooded street because all the streets were flooded."

Montoya says she saw people crying, some cars making it through and other cars hitting each other or getting stuck.

There were cars backed up in our parking lot, just trying to get off the road. There were cars trying to go on the side streets. They were on the side. They were broke down. There were people just stranded everywhere and there was nowhere they could go especially if they had a low profile vehicle."

Businesses and residents say even if this happens just once a year, it's one time too many.

The Fresno Metropolitan Flood Control District says the reason we see flooding in Northeast Fresno near Champlain and Perrin is the rolling terrain that it was built upon and dips in the streets that capture excess water.

"So, when it rains hard in those areas our system gets overwhelmed and just can't take all the water off the streets," says Alan Hofman, the General Manager of the District. "It starts backing up into the streets, and unfortunately because the dips are pretty deep, water gets to a depth that it's just impassible."

The city advises people to avoid driving through the flooded areas and to turn around and take another route, but Montoya says that wasn't possible here yesterday. She doesn't know why these streets weren't closed down or blocked off if the city knows they're prone to flooding in heavy rain.

Drivers may see this all again.

So far, the Flood Control District says there are no plans in place to change the storm drain system thats put in place

"If we wanted to increase that, we would have to go out and build a lot of new infrastructure, put more pipes under the streets, and with existing streets that is very costly," says Hofman.
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