Middle River woman left high but not dry


May 15, 2007

THE PROBLEM -- Delma Fisher of Armor Court in Middle River says that every time it rains hard, her front yard and basement flood.

THE BACKSTORY -- Fisher, 89, in a hand-written letter to Watchdog, blames the problem on Baltimore County, saying repairs made to the street and sidewalk left no place for water to run off but onto her property.

"To get to my house, I need to wear boots," wrote Fisher. "It runs into my yard, goes down along both sides of my house, down along both sides of my foundation and into my basement. It looks like a swimming pool."

Fisher said the problem has gone on for several years and that many county inspectors have visited but have done nothing. She forwarded a note from County Councilman Joseph Bartenfelder, who urged the public works director, Edward C. Adams Jr., to try to resolve the issue.

David Fidler, spokesman for the Baltimore County Department of Public Works, said inspectors have been unable to determine what is happening. He said Adams has visited Fisher's house, and tests show her property is on high land and water flows down to Martin Boulevard.

"We don't quite understand why her problem is so critical," Fidler said, adding that officials are not sure whether repairs made to the street have contributed to the problem. He pointed out that the sidewalk is old "and may have sunk in over the years" and could be a contributing factor. The spokesman said inspectors plan to visit Fisher "during the next significant rain."

WHO CAN FIX THIS -- Robert Berner, chief of engineering for the Baltimore County Department of Public Works: 410-887-3793.


Sometimes the system works without any help from us. Even so, we get the credit.

Stefanie P. Kopp wrote: "If you were responsible for the removal of the campaign sign lying on the ground at 309 Joppa Road today we thank you!"

Gini Patterson wrote: "I was thrilled to drive down Martin Luther King Blvd and see a very visible sign, indicating Mount Clare Museum House, at Washington Boulevard! It even appears to be a new sign, on a post in a different location! Many thanks for your intervention."

And Sun reporter Gadi Dechter noticed that a sign warning of construction, which had read "Hunniton Ave." was quickly changed to the correct "Huntington Ave."

Watchdog had nothing to do with fixing any of these, but we hope that the prospect of publicity this column generates has moved some in government to act without prodding.

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