Water backs into yard, homeowner wants problem fixed

By Zakk Gammon - bio | email

BERNIE, MO (KFVS) - Young, her husband and five children have lived in their Stoddard County home for nearly seven years.

"The water gradually started accumulating on the back side," said homeowner Vicki Young.  "The longer it goes, the longer it accumulates," Young said.

About three and a half years ago, Young says she started noticing water standing on her property.

"Pretty much the whole pasture's washed out," she said.

At first, it was just in the back part of her five acres. Recently, however, it moved into her back yard.  It got so bad, Young says the family had to sell their farm animals.

"We couldn't keep the horses," she said.

Young says she thinks it is coming from the farms surrounding her property.  The water drains into ditches, but they're clogged, so the water backs up to her home.

"MoDOT's been out here several times," said Young. "The county water board said it's a private water way. They have no control over how it drains."

Young says MoDOT also tells her it's not their problem. They will only redesign the ditches when it floods the road. Young says by the time that happens, it will be too late.

"I just want something done before my house is flooded," she said.

Another problem the family may face: stagnant water.

"The first thing Public Health would think about is mosquitoes," said Debbie Pleimling, Director of the Stoddard County Public Health Center.  Pleimling says West Nile Virus is a real threat, especially with water standing like this.

Meantime, Young says she doesn't know where else to turn.  She's contacted several local officials, all saying they can't help either.

She got a lawyer, but says she hopes she doesn't have to take the issue to court.

Heartland News contacted MoDOT Friday afternoon, but was told the person to speak to about issues like this was not available.

Copyright 2010 KFVS. All rights reserved.