The constant threat of flooding in an Ahwatukee neighborhood has one man taking action to protect his home and family.
Last month, Ronald O’Steen’s home flooded for the second time in the last couple years.
The City of Phoenix has promised to build a flood wall behind his neighborhood to protect about a dozen homes sitting at the southeastern edge of South Mountain. However, the project is still two years away and depends on the approval of federal funding.
Now, O’Steen is building his own wall in the backyard. He trenched a two-foot wide foundation for the wall, by himself. He said Superlite Block donated 12 pallets of block to help build the wall. He’s still looking for a way to obtain concrete for the project, but he doesn’t have the funds in the budget right now because flood damage repairs will be costly.
However, he said there’s no sense in fixing the inside of the house before he can ensure that it won’t flood again.
“Why should I do all the repair work again for the house to flood out again, and all my hard work and everything I've done is torn apart again. I can't have it happen a third time. It's just too much work,” O’Steen said.
Until they can finish the protective wall, the O’Steens are living out of the living room and other less damaged parts of the house. Their bedrooms are unlivable because they’re still missing half the drywall and carpeting that had to be torn out after the most recent flooding.
O’Steen, his wife and their two children have had a tough go the last few years. In addition to the two floods, O’Steen and his wife have lost one parent to cancer and another is very ill with cancer.
If you would like to help the family, they have a GoFundMe account.