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12 OYS: Clogged city drainage pipe causes flooding nightmare, says homeowner

By: Jerome Collins Email
By: Jerome Collins Email

News 12 at 6 o'clock / September 2, 2014

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- Labor Day marked a milestone for Ryan Smith and his family.

"It was my four year anniversary of being in this home," said Smith.

For just as long Smith said he has been working to stop a major flooding problem on his property.

"Shortly after we moved in we got some decent rain, and noticed the rain flooding over the embankment outside and into the yard," Smith said.

The problem stems from a clogged drainage pipe just yards from his front door. Smith shot video showing how when it rains, water flows like a river through his front yard. He said Augusta Utilities has known about the problem.

"They would come out and do very minimal work. They would be here twenty minutes, and suck out a trap and go on about their business," Smith said.

But he said they would never clear the drain enough. Fed up, Smith made a call to 12 On Your Side.

"If they are not listening to you, you need to call an investigative reporter, and that's exactly what I did. I called you guys," Smith said.

Within an hour, an Augusta Utilities truck rolled up, and a worker started pumping debris from the clogged drainage pipe. It took more than three hours. Smith said after years of flooding and erosion around his house, the foundation has cracked.

"My home is in jeopardy, and when the side of my house collapses who's going to pay for it? Is it going to be me or Augusta Utilities? I know it's not going to be them," Smith said.

Now with a four years old problem resolved in less than 4 hours, Smith is optimistic the next time it rains, it won't wash out his property.

"Hopefully with you guys coming out it, will keep them on their toes and keep maintaining it," Smith said.

We suggested Smith keep records of everything, especially every call. Write down the day, time and the name of the person who you spoke to. They do not have to be official documents. Just make a note of everything, even if it seems minor because it could get results faster.

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