LaSalle Homes Flooded, Source Unknown

Some Speculate Wells Shut-Down By State Causing Water Table To Rise

They've lived in this neighborhood nearly forty years, and their homes have never flooded, until now.

"This is all flooded out. You can see the water line," said Bill Tulk as he pointed out flood damage during a tour of his basement.

Tulk is now using two sump pumps to get rid of the water.

His neighbor, Dick Newland, is in the same boat.

“Very simply, we’ve been here for 37 years and this is only the second time I’ve really had a problem,” said Newland who doesn't have a basement, but is using two pumps as well to clean out his crawl space underneath the house. “My main concern is what it’s going to do to the foundation. And how am I going to get rid of the mold?”

Where the water is coming from is anyone's guess.

"We’re in a wetter phase right now. You can track this back to other wet periods. Say 1983, '84 -- the same homes would have been in danger,” said former state lawmaker and LaSalle farmer Bill Jerke.

Many experts agree that higher than normal precipitation the past few years has contributed to a rising ground water table.

The Union irrigation ditch runs behind the homes with the flooding issue. It's been here since 1870 and the state said Tuesday sediment has sealed the ditch so it's not seeping anymore than it has historically.

This is also the region where the state shut down hundreds of irrigation wells during the drought about five years ago.

"Do you think it’s absolutely related to those wells being shut down?” asked 7NEWS.

“I think that plays a part in it,” said Jerke. “It seems to me that the water is wanting to come to the surface because we’re not taking enough pressure off by pumping some of it and using it on crops.”

Newland grew up on a farm, so he knows the importance of the ditch and wells. But he also wants to know what to do.

"All I’m asking is, 'What do we do to stop it from coming under?'” said Newland.