Valley Homeowner Claims Bad Street Leads to Flooding

Bad Drains (1)

PALM DESERT, Calif. - Living in the desert we know many times with sudden heavy downpours, streets tend to flood. The cleanup can be a headache, and that seems to be the case for one Palm Desert man.

As we experience one of the worst state droughts in history, homeowner David Garfield believes its only a matter of time before mother nature will give us some relief.

"I've lived in the Coachella Valley, in Palm Springs and now in Palm Desert for 44 years, and so I know that this drought isn't going to last forever," Garfield said.

And, to a certain extent, he's not looking forward to it. That's because his home at the end of the cul-de-sac on Chicory Street floods. His home already sits below street level, and to make matters worse he claims the street was not designed and or built correctly.

"It's below the storm drain and when water comes down the street any kind of volume, it goes down my driveway and floods my house," Garfield said.

He also said he called the city of Palm Desert several times, before they eventually sent an employee to check out the street. Garfield claims the city's rep admitted the problem appeared pretty severe, and in addition the street's storm drain appeared clogged.
"I said.. "Fine, well you want to get it going?" and he says, "Well, I'll turn it in to the people who should know," then nothings happened for another month and a half," Garfield said.

"I'm just afraid next time when we have one of these ten day rains, which we have through the years, that my beautiful little house will be shot," he added.

CBS Local 2/News Channel talked with the city Wednesday afternoon. David Hermann, Palm Desert's Public Information Officer, said they've only received one formal complaint from Garfield about the poor drainage on his street.
They immediately responded and as of July 18th, they had that storm drain completely cleared out.

In an email, Hermann stated,

"We have not received any further complaints or requests from Mr. Garfield since that time. One of our Public Works inspectors visited the Chicory site today (Tuesday) and noted that the drain is dry and appears to be functioning properly.
Our Public Works Department has placed the Chicory cul-de-sac drain on its regular drain maintenance schedule. Inspectors will regularly check it to ensure that it is clear and performing properly."

And as for the street's level? The city's engineer says it's appropiately built.
"With regard to Chicory Street and why Mr. Garfield's lot is lower than the street, the street plan for that neighborhood was recorded by Riverside County in 1948.
The neighborhood was developed long before Palm Desert incorporated as a City in 1973 and the configuration of Mr. Garfield's house and the street has been that way for decades," Hermann added.

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