Cheyenne, WY (KGWN) - According to the National Weather Service, Cheyenne received 1.32" of rain in about an hour on Sunday. Along with the rain, hail caused damage to trees leaving lots of debris along the roadway. All this rain, hail, and debris eventually clogged drainage systems, allowing water to rapidly rise in some areas of the city.
Rob Geringer, an engineer for the city, said during road construction crews plan for some drainage areas to become blocked, but in some areas of the city, infrastructure is so old its difficult to keep up with. City workers can come out and unclog drainage systems, but its difficult to do so during a weather event because of safety concerns.
Some Cheyenne residents have called the city about certain intersections flooding, including the intersection of 23rd and Bradley where Penny Plumley's basement apartment flooded. Geringer said that problems like Sunday's could have been avoided with a storm water utility.
A storm water utility is similar to the board of public utilities. It would exist to update, maintain, and build new projects to mitigate flooding around the city. The storm water utility was put on the ballot in the 2000 and 2004 elections, but was defeated at the time.
Since there is no storm water utility though, the city has to find funding where it can to improve storm water runoff. The city uses a little of the money from the 5th Penny Tax for storm water runoff projects including the Snyder and Logan Ave construction, where larger sewer pipes for additional storm runoff will be installed.