Watertown Gets Funding To Help With Flash Flooding Recovery - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Watertown Gets Funding To Help With Flash Flooding Recovery

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UPDATE: City leaders will meet with Watertown residents Tuesday night to talk about flash flooding clean-up and recovery. The group will meet at 7 p.m. at the Mount Zion Church on 6th Avenue in East Moline. 

Original Story:

Officials say it's unlikely the City of East Moline will receive any federal or state aid for last week's flash flooding, but city council has voted to use HUD funding to help its residents recover. The money is leftover from projects, and should help residents pay to repair or replace their furnaces and water heaters. Some residents say the city's efforts haven't come quickly enough.

"It is a failure of the city that caused these problems," one said.

Drucilla Johnson, and several other Watertown residents spoke out at city hall on Monday. They say they're tired of dealing with flash flooding year after year.

"The fact that it happened again, and measures should have been taken after '08 to prevent this from happening," Johnson said.

"I had to get on the phone, call the police department, tell them they need to get down here and start these pumps," another resident said.

City leaders say they're doing the best they can.

"Quite honestly, I'm offended, after as much money we've put in," Mayor John Thodos said.

After harsh flash flooding in 2008, the city is using a pump to try to keep the Watertown area dry, but they say, last week, something got stuck in one, and the motor overheated and fried it.

"We thought that the flood protection that we built was sufficient," City Administrator Cole O'Donnell said. "Unfortunately, we got five inches in a matter of three hours, and I don't know if there is any system in the world designed to handle that much rain in that short amount of time."

Now, residents say getting the HUD funds helps, but they're late.

"That's like putting a Band-Aid on a gunshot wound after it's happened," Johnson said. "It's great, people do need the assistance, but stop it from happening."

HUD funds were also used in 2008, with up to $70,000 that year. City officials recommend hiring a contractor to determine which homes will use the funding.

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