Wayne County homeowner says flooding problem returned, worsened after NCDOT fix

Investigators

DUDLEY, N.C. (WNCN) – An ongoing problem with a highway drainage ditch is frustrating a Wayne County homeowner.

CBS 17 reported in April about a clogged drainage ditch in Dudley that was causing flooding and a sinkhole. The North Carolina Department of Transportation fixed the issue after the report, but the homeowner said the problem has worsened since.

David West points to photographs taken two weeks ago during heavy rain. He said about four inches of water flooded his front yard right up to the first step of his modular home.

“All this water in this ditch right here is the result of what they did,” West said.

A clogged drainage ditch and the embankment to U.S. 117 alternate was eroding. NCDOT fixed it and cleared out the drainage ditch.

“DOT came in and cleared out this drainage ditch,” said West. “That went very well. They cleaned it out and made it look nice, and it looked great for about two months.”

But, when heavy rains struck the area, the flooding returned with a vengeance.

“Because they cleaned the ditch out, the water can come out quicker than it did before,” West said.

A drain in the middle of the ditch is a problem.

NCDOT’s divisional engineer provided a sketch of the drain and its connecting piping. The explanation is there is standing water in the drain because the outlet pipe from the drain box is stopped up somewhere beyond the state’s right-of-way.

Because West doesn’t own the property where his modular home sits, it’s up to the property owner to deal with that issue.

“I just wish somebody would fix it,” he said.

NCDOT said it has done what it can, but the blockage of this drain is occurring in an outlet pipe under private property well off its right-of-way.

Because the flooding that happens is not affecting the roadway, which is elevated several feet above the culvert, NCDOT spokesman Andrew Barksdale said: “there is nothing more DOT can do.”

So now, West is going to try and deal with the woman who owns the land.

West he’ll talk with the landowner next week.

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