Topeka houses flood after rain, residents wonder about storm drains

TOPEKA (KSNT) – In less than two hours, Topeka got more than four inches of rain Thursday night.

And when that water had no where to go, it ended up in basements.

“As soon as we heard it, we were like ‘oh no,'” said Katie Sonderegger. “It was coming in faster than we could dump and the floor drain wasn’t draining as fast as it was coming in.”

Sonderegger and her husband Mark moved into the 80-year-old home in June. But it was the first time the basement flooded.

All of the water, streaming in from the back yard, came into the basement from under a window.

The couple spent two hours bailing out their basement with a trash bin and other buckets.

“It was just a fun couple of hours of bailing water. We got some exercise,” Katie Sonderegger said. It was all an attempt to keep the water from flowing into different parts of the house.

But some Topeka residents weren’t so lucky.

One woman wrote into KSNT to say she thinks the clogged storm drains caused the water to back up in her house.

In her email, “Our house flooded because storm drains got blocked with debris. We’ve told the City for years they needed bigger storm drains for our street, with no luck.”

KSNT reached out to the city about the storm drains and Deputy City Manager Doug Gerber responded with a written statement.

“The city of Topeka always is reviewing its infrastructure needs,” he wrote. “The amount of rainfall that fell within a short period of time last night was an anomaly, but our crews worked diligently throughout the storm and after to minimize the impact and keep Topeka residents safe.”


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