Metro Couple To Sue City Over Storm Water Runoff

Posted at 6:39 PM, Dec 07, 2015

One Metro family has planned to sue the city because they said a storm water runoff has ruined part of their property.

Amanda and Keith Hudgins said every time it rains they're left with a week-long nightmare because their property is where the storm water is directed for several streets in their neighborhood.

"All the storm water is directed to right there," Amanda Hudgins pointed to the storm drain leading onto her property, "from that hill, that hill, everywhere."

Hudgins has lived in the home on Meridian St. her whole life. She bought her childhood home from her mother. She says she never had problems until just over seven years ago when Metro raised the road, adding sidewalks and the storm drain.

"The city's not giving me anything," she said, "I pay my property tax, I shouldn't have to eat their storm water."

In the front, the drain runs next to her property, but on the other side water follows her driveway which is much steeper now since the city raised the sidewalk.

She said the ground is all but washed away around her home and she needs to replace her entire foundation because of it.

"And there's no need to fix the house if they're going to continue to wash it away," she said, frustrated.

In the back, the open storm drain turns and cuts her backyard diagonally in half. She says it's eroding the ground most of the way and her backyard is completely covered with pools of water for days after even a light rain.

The Hudgins said the city has acknowledged the problem because they've helped with minor fixes in the past. Metro installed a bridge over the storm drain in the backyard to connect the divided pieces of her property. Staff poured concrete over the first half of their driveway so their cars did not continue to get stuck there.

And occasionally workers bring an air freshener to hang over the drain as it enters the Hudgins' property to mask the smell of the water running through.

"They deny it's sewage but it's toilet paper and brown stuff so it's pretty obvious what it is," Hudgins said.

After several calls and emails from NewsChannel 5, the Metro Water Department sent an email response saying the property "essentially sits in a valley between two hills. Ms. Hudgins' house sits in a low spot at the end of Edwin.  Water will naturally flow down Meridian and Edwin toward her property."

Yet, Hudgins said this all started with the addition of the sidewalks and storm drain, and her biggest fear is her neighbor's gas line which is now fully exposed at the bottom of the drain.

"My concern is if a rock hits it does it not blow up?" she said.

She said they've seen new markings on the street but the city hasn't given them any answers. So she and her husband will continue to fear the nightmare brought on by even a light rain.

Water Department spokesperson Sonia Allman said Monday to NewsChannel 5 the city plans to install inlets to re-direct the water from the road. She said that should happen within the next couple weeks.