By Mike Dunn
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Residents of the Eastwick section of Southwest Philadelphia lashed out at city officials today during a City Council hearing on rampant flooding in that neighborhood.
Deputy mayor Rina Cutler, who oversees the Philadelphia Water Department, blamed the constant flooding in Eastwick on Mother Nature — and on the residents themselves.
“The flooding out there is either from a variety of storms outside of anybody’s control, or localized issues where people have added on to their property without assuming new drainage which is flooding neighbors from their houses next door,” Cutler said.
That infuriated Eastwick residents at the hearing such as Brice Baker (photo), who said the city’s own sewer system is simply inadequate.
“Yeah, your drain’s gonna back up if the drainage system for the city does not do what it is supposed to do!” he said. “Come out there the next time we have a heavy rain, and look at what we have to put up with. Look at the stress in our lives. Every time it rains, I gotta take off from work and stand around my house to try to do the Water Department’s job of making sure that the sewer system can handle the water and not ruin my home.”
The hearing on flooding in Eastwick was prompted by a controversial proposal by the Korman Company to build a $100-million apartment complex in Eastwick, on what is now unused land controlled by the city.
Cutler insisted that project would actually ease flooding, but residents said it would make the issue worse, with acres of green space replaced by impervious concrete.