4 On Your Side looks at South Valley flooding

Posted at: 09/09/2013 8:49 PM
Updated at: 09/10/2013 8:49 AM
By: Ryan Luby, KOB Eyewitness News 4

People who live and work along Sunset Road SW believe a problem with repeat flooding is a bad accident waiting to happen.

"It looks like a little river," school crossing guard Bonnie Warga said.

Warga said she's helped students at Armijo Elementary safely cross the road for the last four years.

Any time it rains, she said the road swells with water.

Pete Rivera, who lives near the school, called the 4 On Your Side Investigators to say that he feels as though Bernalillo County engineers – and other county and state leaders – are ignoring him.

"No, they're not listening," he said.

Rivera said children walk within just feet of vehicles that have to pass through the ankle to knee-deep rainwater.

"When you see the speeds of the vehicles, they could end up losing control and killing [someone]," he said.

Rivera is particularly concerned about runoff from a nearby property that once served as a private school bus yard.  He said the property needs a new – or, at the very least, a better – drainage pond.

The property owners said they installed a drainage pond nearly 10 years ago and said the flooding problems on Sunset Road is something Bernalillo County engineers will have to address.

"We're fixing the problem areas as we get to them," Roger Paul said.  Paul works in the Public Works division of Bernalillo County.

Paul said the trouble on Sunset Road is not a top priority for the county.  Still, he said the area is the target of a larger drainage improvement project that's scheduled to begin next year.  Within 18 months, he said Sunset Road is slated to have a drainage ditch extension installed which should alleviate the flooding problems.

"As a person, I think they should try to get that water cleaned up," Warga said as she ushered children across the street Monday afternoon ahead of forecasted storms this week.