Owner of historic home seeks relief from flooding

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Recent rainfalls have led to flooding at the 100-year- old home of Derek Fakehany. (Submitted photo)

Recent rainfalls have led to flooding at the 100-year- old home of Derek Fakehany. (Submitted photo)

Hamilton and Marion counties saw the wettest July on record in 2015. As the storms persist, Carmel residents continue to express concerns about the city’s ability to handle massive flooding.

The statewide rainfall average for six weeks through July 21 totaled 15.09 inches, according to the Indiana State Climate Office, making it the second wettest ever during that period. For just Central Indiana, it’s believed that more than 13 inches fell in July, according to the National Weather Service, narrowly beating a record set in July 1875. NWS puts the total at more than 21 inches if you combine June and July.

Hamilton County Emergency Management has given out more than 3,000 sandbags in July to deal with the flooding.

But some residents say not enough is being done.

In a letter to Carmel city leaders, Derek Fakehany wrote about problems with his 100-year-old historic home in Old Town Carmel during the last 15 years. He lives on 1st Avenue SE and said he’s replaced his water heater seven times over the years, had his furnace rebuilt four times and invested more than $15,000 on waterproofing alone. He said he runs three sump pumps in his basement, pumping out more than 2,000 gallons an hour and still can’t keep up with the flooding. After this summer, he opted to install a fourth sump pump.

“We have also reached out to landscaping and drainage experts for assistance, and they have indicated that without anywhere to send the water they can’t help,” he stated. “One summed up our options quite clearly: Pray for dry weather and sell.”

He said his insurance premiums have skyrocketed 700 percent due to flooding, and he’s had to miss considerable time from work to deal with the aftermath of flooding. He is pleading with Carmel City Engineer Jeremy Kashman to expedite action.

“We are at the point where the cost of regular flooding will force us to leave our home, and with no ability to sell it due to the constant flooding, end up in foreclosure,” Fakehany wrote in the letter.

City Councilor Eric Seidensticker expressed concern about the situation during the City Council meeting Aug. 3.

“It seems to me that we don’t even have a good working list of the areas that are affected,” Seidensticker said.

Carmel Mayor Jim Brainard said the city is working on the issue through the new Storm Water District utility and he knows this summer has been worse than most.

“We’re having one of our wettest summers ever,” he said. “We had more rainfall in July than in recorded history in Carmel. There is going to be flooding. We will continue to work on problem areas. The city engineer has several projects and we will continue to work on them one at a time.”

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