Ledger Inquirer: Lack of drain on neighboring home causes yard to flood

February 17, 2013 

Living across the street from an apartment enclave that police once called The Hole is bad enough. Adding a couple of feet of water in your yard doesn't help.

The city has done something about The Hole, once a notorious crime-riddled haven for drug dealers, users, prostitutes, pimps and all manner of thuggery. The city bought it and is in the process of tearing the place down.

Great news, as is the news that Habitat for Humanity has built several houses on that block. It seems like the neighborhood is looking up.

But on Wednesday, Andrew Hudson wasn't looking up. He was looking down at his yard that had two feet of water in it, water that was just as deep next door in a Habitat house yard.

According to Hudson, the Habitat House is the problem. His yard never flooded before it was built, and now every time it rains his side yard looks like a small pond. I've caught catfish in smaller ponds. On Wednesday, the water was dangerously close to his air conditioning unit.

He called the city, which sent someone out to look at the problem. That person told Hudson that there should have been a drain run under the Habitat house's driveway when it was built. There is a rain drain on the other side of the driveway.

Jesse Gamble, an inspector supervisor with the city, took pictures of the problem and took them to Brinkley Pound, executive director of Habitat, and told her she had a problem.

I called Pound and asked what could be done. She told me that, as with any new construction, the city inspects the building and grounds for compliance with code before it will issue a certificate of occupancy, without which no one is going to move in.

The house passed the city inspection, obviously, because a woman bought it and is living in it.

So the city's pointing to Habitat, Habitat's pointing to the city and Mr. Hudson's pointing to a couple of feet of water in the yard.

The property in question is in Columbus Councilor Bruce Huff's district, so I called him and described the problem and asked what he thought.

"I'll get everybody together and talk to them and see what I can get done," he said.

Thanks, Bruce.

Update

Remember last week's trip down to Fort Mitchell to see one of the most overgrown backyards in the world? Well, in the interest of saving gas, I called Concerned Reader Sarah Tate to see if the bank that is foreclosing on her neighbor's house had indeed gotten the varmint-producing yard cut, as it had said it would.

"No, they haven't," she said. "But that's probably because of the weather we've had this week."

No kidding. Just ask Andrew Hudson.

Seen something that needs attention? Contact me at mowen@ledger-enquirer.com or 706-571-8570.

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