North Park

North Park Family Says Home Has Flooded for Years, Asks City for Help

Outdated storm drains result in major flooding in neighborhood, family believes

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Flooding from significant storms has been plaguing one area of the North Park neighborhood for years, according to some local residents.

The Hendricks family told NBC 7 that for at least the past six years, the flooding has been so bad that it’s damaged garages and property, and, despite multiple requests to the city for the problem to be fixed, nothing has been done.

Sean Hendricks, who lives near Monroe Avenue and 30th Street, said that he’s grown frustrated about the flooding issue that has caused thousands of dollars in damages and repairs to his home.

Since 2017, Hendricks and his wife have sent at least four requests to the city of San Diego, asking for the problem to be addressed. The family says that inefficient storm drainage during heavy rainfalls of more than 20 minutes is causing the problem.

“The systems around here are so dated, they can’t handle the volume of water, so being at the end of this system and seeing the schematic of this system — we’re really at the endpoint of it — and this is the smallest diameter of piping in the area, and it’s probably the most neglected part of the line,” Hendricks said.

On Dec. 14, Hendricks shot video from his front door showing the aftermath of heavy rain. The street was so flooded that a mid-size SUV had water up to its bumper.

“They come through here and the waves roll up and splash up into the house, splash onto the garage,” Hendricks said.

For the North Park man, this is nothing new. When he and his wife have reached out to the city, they’ve done it through the Get It Done portal. According to records of those requests, some of them have not been closed. One of the requests from 2017 that was labeled closed, however, included a comment that the flooding issue was determined and that no action was necessary at that time.

After several calls, the city cleared the nearby storm drains following a mid-December rain, but it hasn’t always been that way.

“There was no response whatsoever, but we, we didn’t give up,” Hendricks said. “We basically started taking matters into our own hands.”

Because of the water damage, Hendricks had to replace his garage, add drains, retaining walls, even change the elevation of his property and take personal items off the floor so they don’t get soaked when it rains.

“Having all this water go under your home and sit there becomes really dank, and living in these conditions are not the most ideal, especially when I have a child inside, you know," Hendricks said. "It’s just kind of rough.”

The flooding is not the only challenge Hendricks is up against.

“I’m going through cancer right now and have Stage 3 non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and it’s environmental, and I don’t know what the cancer is from, so I don’t know if it’s coming from Roundup or black molds," Hendricks said. "I don’t know."

NBC News reported in 2020 that Bayer had reached a settlement in excess of $10 billion in Roundup cancer lawsuits. Since that time, however, Bayer has requested the Supreme Court to "stop the litigation," according to a published report.

For now, Hendricks is asking this city to address the issue off the gated stormwater lines.

“If they could be fixed, that would be a great thing for a lot of people,” Hendricks said. 

NBC 7 reached out to the city of San Diego for a comment regarding this story but did not receive additional information on the flooding.

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