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Asbury Family Blames City's Culvert for Basement Flooding

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ASBURY, Iowa — Flash flooding Sunday night left an Asbury family with 5 feet of water in the basement of their Forest Hills home.

Ken Voorhees said, “I heard it break and saw the water come rushing into the house.”

The family is no stranger to a flooded basement. They’ve dealt with a few inches of water, many times before.

Leslie Voorhees said, “We learned to keep most things off the floor and in tubs. But this was so bad the tubes were floating and filled up.”

Every single thing they had in the basement is covered in mud. Sentimental items are now considered garbage.

“Christmas decorations. My kid’s baby books. Their clothes that they wore home from the hospital,” said Leslie.

It’s a situation the family says could have been avoided. They say the complained to the city several times that the culvert can’t handle downpours the way it’s supposed to.

Ken said, “Somebody did something wrong somewhere. I don’t know who it was or whose fault it was. I just want it fixed.”

Asbury Mayor Jim Adams says they city has inspected the culvert but determined it was working as it should. Now he says they’re willing to check again.

Adams said, “I don’t know who was right or wrong or what was missed, if anything. But I think we owe Mr. Voorhees to go back and look at the situation to see what we can do to make that situation better.”

But the Voorhees family worries that offer may be two years too late.

“Had they done this a couple years ago when it happened, all we wanted was for them to fix the culvert. Now we need help with the damages. We can’t do this anymore on our own,” said Leslie.

l Comments: (563) 583-9999;

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