Five-inch rain backs up sewers, damages street in Jamestown
JAMESTOWN, N.D. -- The weekend storm that dropped more than 5 inches of rain and snow on Jamestown inundated the recently cleaned storm sewer system and caused sewage backups into a number of homes in southeast Jamestown as well as damaging a str...
JAMESTOWN, N.D. -- The weekend storm that dropped more than 5 inches of rain and snow on Jamestown inundated the recently cleaned storm sewer system and caused sewage backups into a number of homes in southeast Jamestown as well as damaging a street in the town.
Water damage in rural areas outside of Jamestown was limited to some areas with water over the road, according to Jerry Bergquist, Stutsman County emergency manager.
Roads located south of Spiritwood Lake and south of the town of Spiritwood were reported flooded, although damage to the roads was not anticipated.
As for the sewage backup, Jamestown Utilities Operations Manager Steve Suko said, “Any amount of sewage in the basement is bad. We’ve had some reports of a water and sewage mix up to nearly 16 inches deep.”
Chris Cebula, who lives at the corner of 3rd Avenue and 8th Street Southeast, said this flooding was the second for his home in the past seven years.
“Last time the cleanup was in the thousands (of dollars),” he said. “And (this year) we lost some more possessions.”
Suko said the city staff had not kept track of reports of sewage backups, but estimated he had received about 20 calls by Monday afternoon.
“It is related to the storm drain cleanout,” he said. “The system is unique in that the sanitary sewer is below the storm sewer. Once it (the storm sewer) was cleaned, it allowed water into the sanitary.”
The city of Jamestown awarded a $191,000 contract to Scherbenske Inc. in January to clean about 6,000 feet of storm sewer. The work was completed in March, but temporary fixes were made to the sanitary sewer below, Suko said.
“The volume of water damaged the temporary fixes,” Suko said. “There was enough volume of water that it washed sandbags down the storm sewer system.”
Suko said the problem relates to the age and design of the storm and sanitary sewer. The sanitary sewage is carried by a pipe buried beneath the floor of the storm sewer. The system was installed in the 1950s.
Suko said water flowing through the storm sewer prohibited access to the system Monday. He hoped crews would be able to go into the storm sewer and make repairs on Tuesday, if the rain stopped.
Damage also occurred to 4th Street Northeast near the college football stadium. Water there washed out part of the street on Sunday.