Rain runoff floods elderly woman's home; county at fault?
POLK COUNTY, TN. (WRCB) -- Shirley Thompson, 69, of Copperhill, works on digging a ditch to help with rain runoff Friday. Its something she's gotten used to over the years, actually every time it rains.
The nearest paved road is about a quarter of a mile from her house. County road crews have been out to grade the road and put down more gravel, but they've always stopped short of her driveway which sits at the bottom of a ravine. Naturally, all the water ends up on her property.
"At times I have a big lake," Thompson says. "I'm afraid if I got hurt and an ambulance tried to come down they wouldn't be able to come through there."
Thompson says the grading crews have done has done more harm than good.
"They're coming down, they grade the road, they push all the dirt off the road into the ditches, fill the ditches and then the water runs down and ruts out her driveway," says neighbor Andy Scott.
Thompson has had to rely on neighbors like Scott for help. "I couldn't ask for, I was so blessed when they moved in up there," says Thompson.
On Friday Scott used his own equipment to dig a ditch and prepare for more rain. "When the water comes in, it just washes back out and it just turns into mud," he says. "They're not stepping up, doing their job."
Channel 3 contacted the Polk County road superintendent who says they're planning on doing something, just haven't had the chance. However, Thompson says she's contacted him several times beginning last year and has never heard back from him.
Even her neighbor can't seem to get any answers or help. "Well, just yesterday I went over to the county DOT and asked them if I could personally pick up just some small load of gravel from them so that I could fix her situation, they said they don't allow that," Scott says.
When Channel 3 pushed for answers the Polk County road superintendent promised they would visit the property next week. Thompson says she'll believe it when she sees it.