Homeowner Blames NCDOT For Excessive Flooding On Her Property

6:37 PM, Jun 13, 2013   |    comments
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Rockingham County, NC -- Homeowner Janice Law says her frustration with a flooding issue in her yard has reached a fever pitch.

On rainy days like Thursday, she worries.

Law moved into her Eden home with her husband in 2006.

She says she did not know the yard was prone to flooding but she quickly found out.

Pictures the 63-year-old took recently when rain hit the Triad show the devastating flooding on her property.

She say even though her home is down on a slope, the excessive flooding is due to a drainage pipe NCDOT put under the road near her home.

The pipe opens onto her property and funnels water from the other side of the street into her yard.

Law says she has already done all she can to slow down the flow of the water but in the last year she's been overwhelmed.

"I'm sick of this mess," she said, clearly frustrated. "We're getting heavier rains...it's washing out the dirt all around the garage and then now getting so deep next to my den door it's going to soon start going into my house."

The North Carolina Department of Transportation put a drainage pipe under the road in front of Law's home when crews were paving the road; this was before the homes in the area, including the one Law lives in, were built.

"We carried the water from across the road and its natural flow, pipe it across the road and then we empty it out into the natural drainage basin," Mike Mills, a DOT division engineer explained.

Fast forward years later, the drain pipe is gushing flood water directly onto the homeowner's property.

"I've got water coming both ways; everybody's water," Law explained while pointing to a ditch on the other side of the road where the drain pipe begins.

The homeowner says she built a structure in her yard to slow the flow but it has not worked and she wants NCDOT engineers to step come in and help divert the water.

"Since they are the ones that put the pipes under here to drain everybody's water here, I feel they ought to be able to put a pipe on the other side and help maybe equalize the water," law said.

A year ago, NCDOT engineers told Law the flooding was not the department's problem after coming out to inspect the pipe.

Law apparently filled in a ditch on the property and NCDOT believes that's what's caused the increased flooding. But Law disagrees. She says filling in the ditch has actually slightly controlled the problem.

Mills tells WFMY News 2, engineers will take a closer look and survey the land.

Between last Friday and this week, the department has sent three people including engineers to begin that process.

"I understand her situation but we have to be careful that we don't take water out of a natural drainage basin and put it onto someone else," Mills said.

In the meantime, Law says she is just hoping the next big rain event doesn't make its way inside her home.

"It's scary," Law said. "I'm trying to save my garage and my house."

According to Mills, NCDOT usually receives complaints like this after big rain events. He explains that sometimes homeowners buy their properties in the summer and do not realize the flood issue until its too late.

He suggests always looking at the lay of the land when house-hunting and beware of small creeks and streams near the home because a good rain could turn them into huge bodies of water that could flood your home.

Mills also suggests calling your local NCDOT office if you have questions about flooding and drainage pipes.

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