DERBY, Kan. (KSNW) – Aggie Zimmerman lives by Spring Creek with a big and green backyard. As quickly as Kansas weather changes, so can the view. She says flooding is an issue.
“We get a downpour, I mean, it can come up over that deck and come right toward my house.”
Zimmerman moved into the home with her late husband, Gerry, back in 2010. She says the floodplain was not as big when they first moved but that changed back in 2016.
“That’s the roof of my house, and the floodplain is inside of my house,” Zimmerman explained, pointing at a map.
She has reached out to the city for help multiple times.
“Our public works staff are more than willing to go out and look at people’s situations and tell them what they can and can’t do,” said Dan Squires, director of planning and engineering for Derby.
The city visited Zimmerman’s home on Thursday. Their best piece of advice was for her to get flood insurance.
“I can’t afford flood insurance. I just can’t,” said Zimmerman.
Squires says the city does its best to clear culverts and add requirements for new development to prevent worse floods.
He sometimes says their hands get tied with what they can do.
“Floodplains are regulated, not only by the city, but by the state and the by the federal government. So, you can’t just go in and do whatever you want in a floodplain because what you do is you solve your problem, and you create one for your neighbor.”
In the meantime, Zimmerman is hoping people will do what they can to keep their culverts clear for everyone.
“I’m getting older, and it’s getting harder. So, I just want, I don’t know, I want help. I don’t know what else to do,” she said.