After 13 years of flooding, Carmel couple says city hasn’t done enough

  • CIC-COM-0419-Fakehany Flooding 1
    Derek Fakehany and Amy Van Ostrand’s basement experiences severe flooding in July 2015. (Submitted photo)
  • CIC-COM-0419-Fakehany Flooding 2
    The backyard after a storm. (Submitted photo)
  • CIC-COM-0419-Fakehany Flooding 3
    The City of Carmel recently installed a drain and extended downspouts in the yard. (Submitted photo)
  • CIC-COM-0419-Fakehany Flooding 4
    Derek Fakehany and Amy Van Ostrand. (Submitted photo)

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  • Amy Van Ostrand

    Contrary to Mr. Kashman’s statement, my husband and I have been in constant contact with the City of Carmel dating back to 2003, both in writing and by telephone, regarding the catastrophic flooding of our home. Indeed, we provided the Current in Carmel with written communications both from us to the City, and from the City back to us. Therefore, it is demonstrably false for the City to suggest it was not aware of this problem. There were aware, and repeatedly acknowledged as much in writing.

    • Monica Kinley Wilson

      This is disgraceful! One’s home should be a safe haven and now Derek is looking at not being able to be where he can best heal and rest. I bet if it was the city officials home or even offices it would not take til “fall” to fix the problem – a problem tht should have been resolved long ago. That is a beautiful home with even more beautiful people struggling with a VERY difficult time and they deserve to have this issue resolved immediately. Shame on you city officials that have done nothing to fix the problem!!

    • Robert E. Waring

      Amy, contact me please. We should talk. We are/have gone very similar things as you have for the last 13 years. We live in Carmel, the city knows very well of our problem, and it would be nice to speak with others and see what we can do together.

    • Bob

      What I find extremely ODD is that both of your problems, Robert & Amy/Derek, began about the same time 13 years ago (2003/2004 timeframe). The investigative question is WHAT happened-because something did. And, personally I believe you are wasting your time talking to Kashman. All decisions originate and are made on the 3rd floor, northeast corner office of City Hall. Everyone else just dances to the tune laid down. Robert is right, you may have very good reason to speak with one another.

  • Ian Thompson

    Carmel officials seem more interested in new development and attracting new residents than taking care of the current residents and historical structures that made Carmel what it is today. Shameful that it has taken 13 years to even begin to adequately address this problem. Now a man’s physical health is at stake. I believe the timeline for beginning the necessary repairs can and should be accelerated.

    • Robert E. Waring

      I could go on about my health issues I’ve incurred while living in a Carmel home with similar issues to Amy. I hope to be able publicly tell my story soon. It’s not wise to go up against the city of Carmel alone, trust me.

  • citizen

    I am surprised the City hasn’t take care of this. TIme to step up (if not past time). The poor drainage is a problem for everyone in the area.

  • upset citizen

    This is simply a disgrace. Even if Derek wasn’t sick, no family should have to go through all these hoops just to have a safe place to live. Come on Carmel, get it together and fix these issues.

  • RKW50

    Anybody with a lick of sense, knows the city wants all of those residents out. They want the land for commercial. They don’t want to spend the money to fix all these drainage issues, preferring future developers take care of the issues after the current residents are gone.

    • Paula R. Spear

      Afraid you have the answer for why this is going on. Flanks the commercial and mixed use corridor mayor has been aggressively, expensively developing for yes. Inexcusable greed. Their neighborhood should be a vintage asset, but doesn’t bring in revenue
      I have known Amy and Derek for 10 yrs and witnessed these yearly floods and aftermath. They have shown more patience with the city than I would. Disgusting that it took this publicity and Derek’s cancer to get attn.

  • Janice Adler

    This is disgraceful and shameful. Time for the City of Carmel to take responsibility. It’s the right thing to do.

  • Traci Siebold

    After reading the article it is obvious the couple over the many years of dealing with this flooding have done enough on their own. It is time for the city to fix the problem.

  • Jane Rose

    It seems to me since the previous owner lived there for 20 years, with no flooding, and the current owners have experienced numerous floods in their basement since they have lived there, that the problem is that the current sewer pipes in Carmel are not able to handle the additional water that is created by the growth the city has encouraged and approved. It all looks great above ground, but no one should have to incur expenses like this when the city is at fault for not insuring a proper infrastructure was in place to handle the increased water load from additional residences. The city needs to fix this now, not in 3 months after they get bids to encompass a larger project. This is a problem clearly the fault of the city, and is greatly affecting the quality of life and usability of the property/home due the city’s negligence to consider how additional growth and usage affects century old sewer pipes. I would be livid if their idea of a temporary fix is to place black plastic hoses in my yard to alleviate the flooding. Carmel owes the property owners the amount of money they are out due to the their negligence to do Due Diligence before approving more housing/usage, and to fix this problem now!.

    • Robert E. Waring

      The city doesn’t care, just take the 8000 the city offers you, sign the waiver they demand you sign stating you won’t sue, and sell the house to another unfortunate family. That’s the Brainaird way it seems.

  • Grace Poudevigne- Gamble

    I think the city should consider every possibility when it comes to righting this wrong. I for one would not want to find myself on the other end of a lawsuit relating to that tort claim or any other claim that could occur should this man have difficulty recovering due to the environment and conditions he has to live in. Moreover, who would morally want to live with that on their conscience.

  • Benign neglect. It is for the areas own good. The city will improve it when the property value equation is right for the city not the homeowners/taxpayers. Indeed Fakehany/Van Ostrand are completely upside down on this now, use any analogy you like, they are up a stream without a paddle.

    This is how our local Government picks winners and losers. The Fakehany / Van Ostrand family is just a passing placeholder to the city. The real money is in development and the associated financial, real estate, engineering construction, etc. transactions. There is no money, no ribbon cuttings and no gold ring for the Mayor for taking care of our residents sewer and water issues.

    Now, on the other hand, when we develop the land…

    It’s all about taking care of business… every way, every day!

    It’s a simple as ‘Following the Money’. If you have no ‘real’ money you have no clout.

  • Gustavo A. Delgado

    As a physician, I read this article and think what a potential travesty this is. Amy and Derek have shown more patience than the city deserves. I hope that somebody with some responsibility at the city reads up on the very real threat of aspergillosis and mucormycosis in immunocompromised patients. These are two very common spore forming molds which thrive in these kinds of damp, earthy environments like a flooded basement. At the very least they can cause a severe pneumonia which is very difficult to treat. There is a very real threat of multiple organ failure and death from this infection. The city should really be putting them up somewhere as a preventive measure while the problem is getting resolved.

  • Kim Bickell

    This is horrific. This family needs the city to come in and do something about this.

  • Teresa Baber

    I feel this is outrageous. No one should have to live in fear that their home will flood every time it rains. The city is long overdue to fix this problem. Sounds like the threat of a lawsuit is the only reason the city is even beginning to look into this. Now with Derek being sick, I think the least the city could do, would be to give you guys temporary housing until they fix the problem.

  • Sandy Hunter

    Come on Carmel, do the right thing!!!

    • Robert E. Waring

      This is all we’ve asked for the last 13 years as well.

    • Robert E. Waring

      Between building more roundabouts and cutting ribbons with giant scissors, they’ve lost sight of what the right thing to do is.

  • Jendher1

    The City of Carmel needs to compensate Derek and Amy for their need for immediate relocation due to the city’s negligence and the risk to Derek who is battling a life threatening illness and is likely to become a victim of the city. I live in Carmel, and I vote.

  • Bobbie Dickerson

    I am sickened and saddened that this family has had to endure this year in and year out with no relief from the city. And now in such a critical time for them, I would hope that someone within the city has a heart and says, enough is enough! City of Carmel….do what is right, human kindness is more important than 💲💲💲.

  • Monica Davis North

    Carmel should be ashamed of themselves. Putting this family’s health and home in jeopardy while dragging their feet. This is awful! I think the couple has been beyond understanding to have dealt with it this long. Fix the problem Carmel. And put these folks up somewhere while you’re fixing it. Most people wouldn’t have had the money to spend trying to take care of it themselves nor the patience. Do the right thing and FIX it.

  • Ashley VanOstrand

    This is heartbreaking to read. There is just no excuse for the lack of response and action on the city’s part. I hope this will be resolved quickly so that these two residents can return to their own home. I cannot believe they have to deal with this right now, in the midst of all they are already going through. My prayers are with you, Amy and Derek.

  • Ashten Harmon

    Anyone who reads this article and is considering investing in a home in Carmel, IN should seriously consider hiring an outside engineer and/or building planner to review their property drainage since the city clearly refuses to have any interest in the well being and comfortability of its citizens. Their lack of support and obvious unwillingness to correct the issue is not only disheartening but disgusting. I hope the city is embarrassed when they read the comments and feedback from the community now that their incomptence is being publicized. Even if they weren’t aware of this becoming a problem for a homeowner, the only ethical reaction should have been to quickly resolve the issue before a family had to be relocated. Sweeping a problem under the rug wasn’t an acceptable response. They need to stop wasting time giving statements to ths press and spend it on a resolution.

  • Sonya Cordova

    City officials of Carmel,
    If this was your immediate family, parents or friends, the situation would have most likely been addressed as soon as you were informed. Why is it that this loving couple, who give time, love, devotion and financial assistance to others, (including historical buildings and citizens of YOUR city) are having to suffer in their time of need???
    I know I speak for many, near and far, when I say that these two beautiful people deserve everything they are NOT getting and NOTHING that is being handed to them. As if this (many times over )test of fate isn’t almost more then they can handle, you city officials CHOOSE to make their life more difficult. In this current time of their lives, the ONLY choice that they really can control, is the city (not even the dwelling they have purchased in that city)they live in. They love the place they chose to grow old together. Please, please….. Allow them to do so.
    The support, strength and love of his wife, the Doctors and hands of God will care for Derek. Deplete this burden and worry from their heavy hearts. Allow them to focus the much needed energy on Derek’s treatment, recovery and long life in their Carmel Indiana dream home.
    Fix and repair all that is needed for them to return to their safe haven. Their home.

  • Ryan L Kristal

    This is terrible! That is the city’s responsibility! How dare that city even let that continue?! And then, considering Dereck’s health (or lack there of) situation, one would just assume they’d get the problem expedited n get it fixed IMMEDIATELY! That couple basically got scammed! I am just beside myself! Way to really kick someone when they’re already down, huh.

  • Ryan L Kristal

    This is really really upsetting. I’m very bothered by this.

  • Ryan L Kristal

    One person mentioned that Carmel city officials are more interested in new developments and attracting new residents– this town is just straight up SCAMMING PEOPLE! Creating this beautiful false image that it can’t live up to or provide! Wow, this deserves more attention, like national attention!

  • Amy Miller

    I have repeatedly witnessed the generosity of spirit of the people of the City of Carmel and the integrity and honesty of its people. It is absolutely shameful that the government supposedly of those people and by those people cannot exemplify those same values. The facts clearly demonstrate this is a problem caused by growth permitted by the City so the City must correct the problems resulting therefrom. In failing to do so, the City has not only caused inconvenience and financial difficulties for its long-time residents but is also now keeping a very sick man and his wife from being able to have refuge in their home while the chips are down. This is an embarrassment and a travesty which should be corrected immediately.

  • Leon Ryder

    Howdy my name is Leon Ryder. I was Amy’s math teacher in middle school and high school in our little desert community of Mojave, Ca. We, here, know the meaning of help your neighbor. Thank you for printing this article show the need s of this young couple who have more on their plate than they can handle. It is my wife’s and my prayer that the city get them relief as soon as possible. It seems like this flooding situation has gone on too long and needs to be given top priority.
    Thanks for allowing me to vent a bit.

    Leon & Beverly Ryder
    Mojave California

  • Michelena Galante Buckingham

    This is appalling, no family should have to incur these expenses to make their home livable. I now understand that due to this flooding and possible mold issues this home is no longer safe place to live in for Derek. Which means additional expenses for the family. The city not only needs to fix the problem they to need reimburse this family and provide them a safe place to live.

    The city should be ashamed and the residents of Carmel need to hold to city accountable.

  • Ann Pierson D’Angelo

    This is unconscionable! Carmel has had more than a decade to address this, and now the homeowners are in acute crisis, their problems profoundly magnified by Carmel’s inaction. Carmel is only too happy to tout its accomplishments, but apparently, it hides from its problems and abandons its residents. Shameful behavior.

  • roxygirl5150

    No one should ever have to live with this constant looming disaster. The city needs to step up and rectify the problem.

  • Debby Melle

    The residents of Carmel pay a huge amount of taxes, that should also include city eengineers being able to navigate drainage planning for new construction. This is a FAILURE on the city eengineers part! This couple has done everything possible on their part. But a bonified river coming down from the new construction IS the city’s fault and needs to be addressed by them. 13 years is far far too long to have to wait for the city to correct THEIR FAILURE! it is a fact that this couple has reached out for help for all these years and it is far overdue for the city to solve the problem! The city of Carmel is lucky this couple has put up with it for this long without a lawsuit! It is also a downright SHAME that a responsible home owner, who is fighting for his life, must now find somewhere else to live ( all attending doctors advise this immediately ) during such a hard time!!


    Carmel Infrastructure has long been over looked. We’ve had similar flooding problems on Emerson Road in Carmel since I moved in in 1980. It appears Carmel is finally moving on fixing our road this year. Hope you’re place is fixed this year also!

  • Julie Dietz Smith

    Come on City of Carmel… It’s times like this for you to shine bright! Step up and help this family relocate immediately. It’s the right thing to do – what if this was you?? add the stress of a sick family member who can’t remain in the home AT ALL and needs to be relocated immediately- it basically comes down to life of death at this point. Spend some funds on relocating this family who loves their community with all their hearts or deal with a law suit in your lap! Prayers to the Fakehany Family!

  • Nita McCreary

    Haven’t Amy Van Ostrand and Derek Fakehany suffered enough? They can’t even live in their own home now because of the negligence of the city. What a disgrace for the City of Carmel. To those of us in outlying areas of Indiana, Carmel is known for big money. Their dirty little secret has come out: All its big money is used as window dressing with nothing done to make the real problem areas better for its very own residents. Start caring for the people who pay the way for all your high-dollar self-image projects and fix the real troubled spots caused by the city. This fabulous couple deserve better than the treatment that Carmel has given them, especially during this terrible time of Derek’s cancer treatments. Please show that Carmel is compassionate as well as concerned with the image of their city.

  • Jennifer Barker

    Thank you Current in Carmel for sharing Amy and Derek’s story. They have a beautiful home and it should be preserved for its historical value. They have been beyond patient with the city and unfortunately I am not surprised that the administration did not even attempt to really solve the problem until legal action was finally taken. Their situation needs to be rectified now and they need to be compensated for someplace safe to live while the work is being completed. It is shameful that our city spends so much time and energy pursuing accolades and placements on “best community in the U.S.”lists when the administration doesn’t take care of basic issues like flooding, crosswalks, sidewalks and other things that keep its citizens safe until new development arrives. It’s the people that make Carmel beautiful, not the statues, arches and excessive landscaping. Take care of your citizens!

  • Natalie Smith

    It disgusts me that this city clearly does not care about the well being of their inhabitants. This problem has gone on for far too long and needs to be solved.

  • ReShon Anderson

    This article makes me sick to my stomach. I cannot believe something like this is happening in a city in the US! Reads more like a third world situation. The City of Carmel needs to get its act together and resolve this immediately! I hope this gets national attention…people should be fired for the negligence!!

  • Anonymous

    Carmel, it’s time to look into the situation.

  • Rhaya Shilts

    As a Carmel resident, business owner and tax payer, I am extremely disappointed in the city. I hope that the decision-makers rectify the situation immediately, especially due to the valid health concerns for which the city is at fault.

  • Kimberly Gardner

    Carmel should and is responsible for this!! This couple is going threw so much! its sad that due to the city not doing anything that Derek could have even more issue just trying to rest in his own home. Come on Carmel step up !

  • 2004 State of the City – Mayor Brainard States $12 million was spent on ‘mainly infrastructure’. He talks 3 seconds about water drainage issues and 117 seconds on our ADD Logo, light poles and flower baskets.

    What are our priorities?

  • Steve Applegate

    I am a natural born EX resident of Carmel. I left my hometown after personally witnessing the way Brainard and his cronies treated my grandfather…..Voyle “Pood” Applegate. Shortly after the death of my grandmother……they had been married nearly 50 years…..Brainard waltzed into my grandfathers pool hall on Main St… had been in his family since 1921……and informed a sick, grieving old man that they were condemning his business and taking the building if he wouldn’t sell. I still cherish the look on Brainard’s face as my father, Bob “Bobby” Applegate, picked him up by his shirt collar and “removed” him from the establishment. In the end my grandfather wouldn’t sell. They condemned the pool hall and stole it……shortly after my grandfather passed away. It is my belief he died from a broken heart. He lost his wife and the only business he ever knew….one that he created with his own two hands.
    I told this story to assure you all that Carmel City Officials have had a pattern of disregard and even contempt for any person/resident that stands in the way of “progress”…….in other words, anyone who stops them from lining their pockets. This attitude toward citizens is nothing new. It will only go away when the people get smart and vote these clowns out of office.
    Derek and Amy deserve so much better from a city they lovingly call home. They have been more patient than I ever could be. And now Derek is seriously ill and cannot return to his own home. His home has become toxic to him due to unresolved drainage issues that the city refuses to repair or make right. And now, the city has made it clear to Derek and Amy that they intend to do NOTHING to resolve this issue. I’m assuming due to some costs involved as well as the city’s intent to drive these wonderful people from their home. The city would love to have their neighborhood to develop commercially…….again, lining their pockets with the blood of the weak.
    If you are as disgusted as I am with Brainard……please remember this when you vote.
    Brainard is a career politician whose loyalty and sense of decency only applies to himself. If this was his home and family, the problem would have been fixed yesterday. But who knows….he might let it ride in that case too…..if he could make a couple bucks. Shame on Carmel. I am going to contact Fox National News. They might like to shine a light on this travesty…..I’m sure Carmel would like to keep it in the dark!
    Remember Derek and Amy when you vote……this could be your home or family next!
    Steve Applegate

  • concerned carmelite

    At least the flooding is water. Houses west of College on 116th street and some in Wilson Addition have been flooding for years with sewage because of broken infrastructure. When they contacted the City the response was “sign this and we will attempt to fix once, if it doesn’t work we are not responsible any further. If you don’t sign we don’t fix”. Nice way to treat citizens. One close friend finally after another crawlspace full of sewage said enough and just let the bank take the house since he couldn’t sell it.

    Brainard/Carter/ rest of his handpicked Council could care less about existing residents, he’s only looking for a photo op. Fixing drainage isn’t a sexy photo. He has budgeted and spent nothing on infrastructure for years. How much has he spent on parking garages for his cronies? People in Carmel are blinded by the new stuff. Anyone who disagrees are labeled and attacked for questioning. I have personal knowledge of Jim going to a place of business to intimidate outspoken citizens.

    Carmel is now in debt ~$1.25-$1.5 BILLION and can only afford interest only/no principal payments. Carmel city taxes just went up this year from $0.7007/100 to $0.8356/100, a 19.2% increase. Yet we have no money for infrastructure. All this new development causing the problems pay no taxes to fix the infrastructure. None of the other taxing entities are getting any money. We as residential taxpayers and other business owners pay the bills for the chosen ones. All the tax money goes to the Carmel Redevelopment Commission and then gets handed back to the developer to make payments on THEIR building. As an example look up Sophia Square on the Hamilton County website, they pay ZERO dollars to anyone but the CRC. I would post the link but links are not allowed in comments.

    • Robert E. Waring

      Thank you for posting this. I am one of these people. The city, to this day, allows raw sewage to back up into my home. We live in a bi-level in Wilson Village. We had 4 foot of raw sewage backed up into our home multiple times. Destroying property, livelyhood, wedding videos, electronics,etc. I had two children, a wife, and a Border Collie living here. I’m not going to go on and on here, there’s so much more to tell you about personal loss, disease, heartbreak, tears, anxiety, fear, etc.. The last 13 years of my life living in Carmel has been a living hell. The city has known about this issue. They continue to pump raw sewage into my home and refuse to do anything about it.

  • Dan Trieschman

    Praying that God will convince the Carmel government to do the right thing and help out Derek and Amy.

    • Robert E. Waring

      Thank you, we’ve been trying as well for the last 13 years. Amy is not alone.

  • Robert E. Waring

    They are not the only ones this is happening to in Carmel. I’m one of them. Since 2003 we’ve dealt with multiple sewer floodings by the city, which they’ve refused to address. They’re aware of our problem, they just don’t care.

  • Cheri Storms

    The City needs to step up in a big way. It’s absolutely shameful that they’ve ignored this family (and others) for many years, and now are forcing the family from their home. And the timing could not be worse. This is ridiculous.

  • Emily B

    This makes me so angry. I cannot believe they have to deal with this. The city will spend MILLIONS on the construction of round-a-bouts (like they are getting ready to on Gray road where they aren’t a necessity) yet they won’t fix the numerous flooding issues throughout Carmel. It’s like paying to paint your house for cosmetic reasons – yet you won’t pay acculevel to fix the real issues.

    The #1 cause of Urban Flooding is DEVELOPMENT. Everything flows downstream. It’s time the city council, zoning commission and members of development committee start addressing and planning for ALL the downstream issues prior to development and making them pay for it.

  • Carmel Citizen
  • RKW50

    Perhaps, if all of us are disgusted enough, we should pitch in and support the pending lawsuit. I say to the Van Ostrand’s, get that lawsuit filed, and open up a “fund me” page with URL’s to these articles. I’m sure a lawsuit would get their attention!

  • Robert E. Waring

    Current, we need a follow up to this story. This is Carmel.

  • Robert E. Waring

    any update on this?