Restaurant asks city to fix flooding problem

LAWTON-- Neighbors say it's a recurring problem along 11th Street in Lawton-- falling rain and rising waters. Now they're asking the city to prevent flooding in their backyards. The problem is a narrow canal along Numu Creek. Neighbors say it is too narrow, and every time it rains, debris gets caught and backs up the creeks -- bringing flooding water into their homes within minutes of the blockage.

After last week's floods -- they say they've had enough, and now they want the city to do something about it. A manager at Bella Mia's restaurant  says he rushed to his business in the middle of the night when he saw the rain early Friday morning. He says this time the flooding was so bad -- he's surprised no one was hurt.

"I'm looking through the glass of the windows, and I'm just watching the water pour inside," Steve Janicke said.

He said when the creek breaches its banks, it causes more than just water damage, it endangers people's lives.

"We had cars that were trying to go through there," Janicke said. "And we had a police officer, he was up above his kneecaps struggling to get to get to a car that had two passengers in it to get them out."

Neighbors say there were also two people stuck in their attic because the water came so high into their home.

Luckily no one was hurt in this flood. But one neighbor lost her cat to the rushing waters.

"I cried a little bit, because I could hear her, but I couldn't see her and get her," said Debra Eash-Pettinger. "And the cops were kind of upset because they couldn't get her. And we tried following her trail, her cries down the creek, and we couldn't get her."

Now they say they've had enough. Owners and managers at Bella Mia's are taking action on behalf of the neighborhood. They're asking City Council to widen the canals so the water has a clear path.

"We just would really like to see something done so that this doesn't happen every time we get a strong rain," said Bella Mia's Manager Dominic Spadaro.

They say when the city widened the canals further downstream, businesses there like Salas are no longer flooding during heavy rains. So now they are hoping their call to City Council will fix their problem canals, and they want the repairs to continue all the way upstream.

"The city needs to recognize that there is a problem," Janicke said. "I'm sure that this isn't the first time that this has happened, and it's getting worse."

The owners of Bella Mia's called City Council members on Friday -- but say they haven't heard back from them this weekend. They are hoping for a solution some time this week.