SAN DIEGO - Some Grantville-area business owners say the city of San Diego has not done enough over the years to combat the flooding that comes with heavy rainfall.
"We've been 30 years in a battle over this," Dan Smith said after a long night of helping his tenants shovel mud and water from their businesses.
Smith has been fighting with city, the Metropolitan Transit System and the Army Corps of Engineers to come up with a plan to stop the Alvarado Creek from flooding during heavy rains.
It hasn't worked.
Smith owns an office and warehouse complex on Mission Gorge Road. It flooded twice this week during the heaviest El Niño storms. It also flooded in September, sending water into more than a dozen businesses and leaving cars flooded in the parking lot.
"I've been telling the City Council over many years this is a health and safety problem. Someday you're going to find people dead that were swept away," said Smith, who added if the city would make infrastructure changes, Grantville would be revitalized.
The city, Smith said, would be the big winner, increasing its tax base with new development.
Smith showed Team 10 a stack of reports recommending changes, but he said the agencies involved never find the money to make any of those changes.
A spokesperson for the city's Storm Water Division said the Alvarado Creek is one of its highest priorities for maintenance. Bill Harris said the city has worked closely with Smith and other Grantville business owners to come up with a long-term plan for the area.
Just weeks ago, city crews cleared the creek of invasive species plants and sediment.
"That work helped keep record flood levels from being worse than they were," said Harris.