New Hanover County Resident Deals with Major Flooding

AUGUST 24, 2005 -- The flood water is mostly gone from Rob Kelch's backyard. All that's left is a small puddle and a water line on the garage, but Tuesday night the yard looked more like a small pond.

Kelch spent most of Wednesday cleaning his tools that washed out of a shed and trying to figure out just what caused the flooding. He believes it could have been avioded.

"I tend to believe that this drain is negligent and the property owner should have made sure the drains were clear."

However Department of Transportation officials say they are responsible for maintaining the right of way. That area is thirty feet from the middle of the road on either side.

Department of Transportation engineer Allen Pope was unaware of the flooding and says there's little his office can do.

"Unless he can prove that someone was negligent and didn't do their jobs, then there is no case against the state," says Pope.

That means Kelch would have to prove that the drain was posing a problem prior to the flooding, and that the Department of Transportation knew about it.

So for now Kelch is left to pick up the pieces and hope heavy rains stay away from his yard, at least until he can figure out who's responsible for clearing the drainage pipe.

Reported by Sarah Warlick