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Colorado homeowner says basement flood was preventable

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Eric Anderson said he alerted Castle Rock Water to problems with drainage in his neighborhood last year and felt like no action was taken.

CASTLE ROCK, Colo. — A family in Colorado says the damage caused by flooding in their home could have been prevented if town leaders had listened to their complaints.

Eric Anderson said he watched the drain outside his Castle Rock home overflow as rain and hail pummeled his neighborhood Sunday. He said water was actually coming up from the drains onto his street.

“It has nowhere to run, except, unfortunately, the next stop was our house,” Anderson said. “Once it did that, it rushed all the way through the backyard, undercut window wells, filled them until the windows failed.”

Anderson said all of a sudden, the storm’s heavy rainwater broke through into the window well of his basement. He said he heard his wife scream and ran down to help.

He held onto the window for as long as he could and knew the situation was helpless once he saw the pane start to bow and heard a pop, he said. 

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“At that point, I turned, took about three steps and that’s when I heard the window explode,” Anderson said. “I turned around and looked and it was just actively flowing in. At that point, there was nothing I could do, but just watch everything get ruined.”

He said feet of water and mud rushed into his basement, destroying toys, workout equipment, furniture and family memorabilia.

“Pictures of my family, baby albums, things like that we aren’t going to get back,” Anderson said. “Salvaged what we could, but this is all stuff that gets thrown in the trash.”

Anderson said the worst part isn’t the material things lost — it’s knowing this could have been avoided.

“We had a rain event last summer and the stormwater system was so taxed it was blowing manhole covers into the street,” Anderson said. “There’s clearly a large problem that isn’t being addressed and we’re left holding the bag and being told, ‘best of luck.'”

He said he reached out to Castle Rock Water with his concerns last summer and the response was unsatisfactory.

> WATCH: Stormwater floods into Colorado home

“I’ve been told the sewer systems are designed, stormwater systems, are designed for a 100-year rain event,” Anderson said. “Now we’re two summers in a row where it appears that they’ve been pushed to their capacity and can’t accept any more water.”

In an email to 9NEWS, Carrie Mahan Groce, Castle Rock’s senior communications specialist, shared a statement on behalf of Castle Rock Water saying the agency was actively looking into the concerns.

“The town generally inspects all storm drain inlets annually and addresses clogging issues as they are found by our team or reported by residents,” Groce wrote, in response to how often drains are checked. “After a significant rainfall event, the stormwater team typically visits areas throughout Town actively looking for issues.”

Groce said the drainage is a considered factor when building a new neighborhood.

“The Town requires storm drainage be designed to capture and route runoff from a 100-year design storm event within the street section, using criteria consistent with the Mile High Flood District, which governs the greater Denver Metro Area. (A 100-year storm is the amount of rainfall measured at a certain location, during a specified length of time, that has a 1% chance in any given year of being equaled or exceeded.),” Groce wrote.

Anderson said that when he has spoken with Castle Rock Water, there’s been little action behind their words.

“Somebody will come out and they look at stuff and say, ‘Yeah, it shouldn’t do that,’ and, ‘We’ll run it up the chain,’ and then nothing happens,” Anderson said.

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He said it’s frustrating to feel like he’s at the whim of the weather when it comes to protecting his home and family.

“Have lived in a brand new home for two years and you expect that your family’s going to be safe, home is going to be protected and everything is designed correctly to protect you from this,” Anderson said. “Unfortunately, that’s not what happened, in my opinion. Doesn’t look like it.”

Anderson said he doesn’t have flood insurance, so his insurance company isn’t offering any help to cover damages.

“You want answers and you want someone to help you out and you get canned responses of, ‘It’s not my fault. Not my problem,'” he said.

Anderson said his losses are in the hundreds of thousands.

“We can replace all of these things, but it’s all just a band-aid because no one is taking any action to fix the problem,” he said.

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Colorado homeowner says basement flood was preventable

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