As Grand Junction grows new drains are needed

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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KJCT) -- Heavy rains drenched Grand Junction on Thursday. The downpour had residents on Orchard Court bracing for flooding in their yards similar to that caused by a storm earlier in the month.

This time there was no damage.

Robert Richardson lives in the neighborhood and owns a rental property in the flood zone.

"This area has been flooding since the mid-80s,” Richardson said.

The water started flowing more consistently through the neighborhood when the Bookcliff Bypass Drain was rerouted.

"The flooding has been pretty consistent over the years,” Richardson said.

The amount of water depends on the storm.

"You have a small river running through your backyard washing gravel into the yard, washing away the kids toys, and you know it has a definite impact on these renters,” Richardson said.

The Grand Valley Drainage District’s General Manager, Tim Ryan said they are preparing to fix the problem.

"This specific area, what we call the Buthorn Drain, has been targeted as the drainage district’s number one storm water flooding area,” Ryan said.

They have engineers working on increasing the capacity of the drains in the area.

"When a pipe is in the ground and it reaches capacity it goes where we don't want it to go,” Ryan said. “That’s otherwise known as a flood.”

Construction for the new pipes is expected to cost $ 5 million.

“This would not be possible without the drainage fees,” Ryan said.

Richardson says he paid over $500 in drainage fees.

"I realize not everybody likes the drainage fee because not everybody is flooded,” Richardson said, “but it affects the community overall and it should be taken care of.”

The Drainage District will be surveying the area from 12th Street to 25 Road and Patterson to Orchard Avenues.

Folks affected by the new drains should be receiving more information from the drainage district soon.

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