Homeowner Seeks City's Help In Fixing Flood Issue - WSPA.com

Homeowner Seeks City's Help In Fixing Flood Issue

Posted:
By Tracey Early

An Upstate homeowner says when it rains, her backyard turns into a swimming pool. And she blames a city drain dumping all the mess, directly onto her property.

On a sunny day, it looks like an eroded ditch lining the side of Deborah Vercher's yard. When it pours, it looks like a small river running through her property.

According to Deborah and the FEMA flood map for her street in Gaffney, she doesn't live in a highly prone flood area.

But since she's moved in 16 years ago she says it has become that way. She’s now worried the water will start making its way inside.

“That's my greatest fear,” said Deborah. “I just don't want to have to go downstairs and be standing in two feet of water.”

Deborah says much of the run-off comes from a city drain right next to her driveway. She says she's called Gaffney Public Works about it several times.

“All they did was send men out with a truck, they took pictures and we still haven't resolved the issue,” said Deborah.

We took Deborah's concerns to Gaffney City Manager James Taylor. He says determining who’s responsible depends a lot on when the house was built, the natural flow of water and even when the street and drain were put in.

And even though the runoff is coming from a city drain, Taylor says the city doesn’t typically do work on private property.

“There's generally a prohibition against work on private property in the state of South Carolina, spending taxpayer dollars on private property,” said Taylor.

There is one exception for storm drain systems that cause a potential hazard. It's a cost-sharing solution between the homeowner and the city that Taylor offered up for Deborah.

“The Public Works Department is going to provide that homeowner with a copy of that policy which outlines several things that have to be done. And then they're going to consult with that property owner to do an evaluation” said Taylor.

Deborah says she's ready to try it, for her yard and her family's safety.

It's not clear yet how much this resolution would cost Deborah or the city. Once Deborah applies, Gaffney City Council would have to approve the agreement.

If you have a flooding issue, call your city or county public works department to help determine where the run-off is coming from.

If you live off a state road, call the SC Department of Transportation.

To find out the flood risk where you live and how much flood insurance would cost, click here.

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