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County, MSD need to correct 'flooding mess'

Letter to the editor

To the editor:

When the Concord Square subdivision was built in the late 1950s, the developer obtained approval from St. Louis County to build an 18-foot-deep reinforced concrete structure — a storm sewer facade — on top of an existing sinkhole in the back yard of 11372 Five Oaks.

This one sinkhole would now begin accepting rain water runoff from the newly constructed Concord Square subdivision. Not constructing a real storm sewer system in the 1950s appeared to be the most cost-efficient method for all parties involved.

The county and the Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District could not beat the zero-dollar expenditure.

The southern end of Ranger Drive is the lowest grade level shown on a topographical map in this area. The four homes built at this end should have never been built. The original owners were totally unaware of any type of flooding until they moved in. The flooding in our subdivision has been a long problem. St. Louis County and the MSD are responsible for creating this flooding mess.

They need to correct their mess.

Over time, new subdivisions and businesses were built surrounding the Concord Square subdivision. All the rain water runoff was directed to flow down Ranger Drive and the back yards into the one and only sinkhole. From 1956 to the present, homeowners on Ranger Drive have lived with the stressful flooding problem.

Today, progress still continues to greatly challenge the small subdivision with excessive amounts of rain water runoff, overwhelming Concord Square homeowners to the point we no longer accept the severity of the flooding and the damage it does year after year.

In 1999, the MSD did two things for us.

The MSD worked with with the St. Louis County Department of Highways and Traffic to buy one home, 11387 Ranger Drive, and demolish it. They also paid for installation of glass-block basement windows and steel doors to three homes directly involved with potential flooding in the basements.

The county highway department stated in writing it would create a water detention basin on the empty lot — 11387 Ranger Drive — which it never did.

It is appalling that after the year of the buy out, no more has been done. We have been ignored and insulted. How in God's name can an organization the public voted to form in the 1950s become a monster that thinks it is so powerful and doesn't have to answer to anyone? We believe it is a crime for MSD to continue ignoring its responsibilities to the people they serve.

We have the right after 40-plus years to live in a flood-free subdivision.

Please, we're asking for your help. Stand up and support us between 5:45 and 6 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 12, at MSD headquarters at 2350 Market St. — the corner of Jefferson and Market. Parking is in the front and back.

We desperately need every man, woman and child uniting with us. Together we will show the MSD Board of Trustees that flooding has an impact on every family in our subdivision and community. Flooding is not acceptable.

We are asking all county residents for one evening in their busy family's life to meet us in front of MSD headquarters. We will show the MSD that the public has not lost its voice. We hope to see County Councilman John Campisi and Rep. Jim Lembke there supporting us too.

Small groups of people can do big things when the time is right and that time is right now. Fighting for something that is right and good for people in America takes a lot of time and hard work. It's easy for bad and wrong things to go on and on because they are here all around us everyday of our lives.

Most people know how stressful, dangerous, and unhealthy floods are. The families in the Concord Square subdivision are tired and helpless from the consistent flooding. There has always been a solution to correct the flooding, but the MSD puts on its monster mask and continues to ignore us.

They would rather do business as usual with their unbelievable spending habits and not be accountable to the taxpaying citizens.

Dorthea Launius


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