Still no answers on Broad Ripple flood gates


The flooding that caused tens of thousands of dollars in damage in Broad Ripple could have been the result of a prank. That's according to Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard.

Talking about the investigation headed by the Department of Public Works, he said, "They don't [know] yet, to be honest. They don't know if someone played with the gates; if the contractor was in there before, but it just doesn't make sense on the surface."

The mayor said what they do know is that the flood gates at 65th and Westfield Boulevard, which are normally open, were closed that day, and that caused storm water from the heavy rain to back up in the streets, flooding several businesses.  

"To be frank, we may never know, meaning it wasn't a contractor or this or that or someone from the city. It could have been just pranks," said the mayor.

Larry Marling, who owns a barber shop on Westfield Boulevard, countered, "That's not a hoax. That's not a prank."

Like other nearby business owners, Marling had six inches of water rush into his barber shop after the heavy storms May 1. He's reopened, but he's still making repairs and is still very upset.

"What are they going to do to secure it?" he asked. "As a business owner, I don't want my business flooded out because the mayor thinks it's a prank."

The area around the flood gates has barbed wire fences around part it. There are several no-trespassing signs. Despite that, graffiti covers the flood gates. There's even a sleeping bag hanging from the front, and just a couple hundred yards away, an encampment where young adults are apparently living.

"If we have bridge kids living up there, that's not good. And what if it was someone up there actually trying to cause some harm?" wondered Marling.

Asked if the area around the flood gates was secure enough, the mayor responded, "It normally is, but no one's ever heard of this before so we're trying to figure out what happened."

Marling said, "I would hope someone would know what was going on and investigating what really happened."

Other business owners are also eager for answers.

Tenzin Namgyal, who owns Shop Tibet, said, "It's important for the city and community to know what happened and fix the problem so it doesn't happen again."

Petite Chou is the only business still closed due to the flooding. Martha Hoover, who owns the restaurant, said repairs are underway. The restaurant will reopen, but she's not sure when.