Lawsuit filed over Mesa neighborhood flooding

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By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman

MESA, Ariz. -- The State of Arizona and City of Mesa are in hot water over all that flooding in September.

A class action lawsuit with nearly 100 plaintiffs claims that city and state workers, not the weather, caused the water to rise.

The remnants of Hurricane Norbert soaked the entire desert Southwest on Sept. 8 and one of the hardest hit areas was Mesa. 

Record rain fell and one neighborhood was inundated with water that flooded hundreds of homes.

Paul Moreno is one of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit. He said he’s likely facing damages of $5,000 to $6,000.

"I got cracks here and in the foundation that weren't here before," he said, pointing to cracks on bare cement that was exposed after pulling up the drenched carpet in two living rooms.

The class action suit claims rain wasn't the only problem – that the Arizona Department of Transportation and the City of Mesa pumped too much floodwater into the neighborhoods drainage system.

Emerald Park is a key part of the area’s floodwater drainage system and on the day of the storm it was filled to the brim. 

Then, according to the lawsuit, workers trying to clear floodwater off an adjacent section of the U.S. 60 at Harris Drive pumped Emerald Park well past capacity.

"To my understanding they're supposed to pump so much water per hour from the freeway to the canal and they just turned the button on and let it go," said Moreno.

The lawsuit is seeking class action status to begin with and is seeking unspecified damages.