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Homeowner says city project caused flooding issue in his yard: ‘It never used to be like this’

Posted at 5:53 PM, Mar 13, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-13 18:08:32-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- A South Richmond homeowner says every time it rains, his yard floods and it never completely dries. Now he believes it is impacting his foundation.

For nearly four years, Dwayne Modest has lived in his Royall Avenue home. He says he has never had an issue with flooding. Modest says that all changed last May when the city addressed a drainage issue for neighbors directly behind him.

Modest pointed out the work the city did and says not long after that, his headache began.

“All of these trenches they put in here. This is where the problem was occurring. All of this was a swamp,” said Modest. “As you can see, this drain is helping to flush the water in my yard.”

The Richmond man showed CBS 6 pictures show what his property looks like when it rains. Those photos show a flooded yard and ditch.

“It's getting worse and worse. Every time I look out in the yard. I say wow, it never used to be like this,” he said.

Modest said now the flood-prone yard is hurting his pockets.

“It’s gotten to the point I had to buy gravel, $400 worth of gravel to make sure my car doesn't get stuck in the yard,” said Modest. “It's becoming very expensive to me. $7,000 to buy jacks to put underneath my house.”

CBS 6 Problem Solvers took his concerns to the Department of Public Utilities. A spokesperson says they've been responsive to Modest’s calls, but they don't believe the work they did near his home is causing the flooding, citing a combination of unprecedented rainfall and issues on his low-lying property.

Officials say they believe vegetation between Modest's home and the adjoining property might be hindering the flow of water to his drain.

Modest disagrees.

“They’re trying to tell me it's because of the trees on that lot. That's been there for years and the yard never had water until they built this here,” he explained.

DPU officials say in the coming weeks, they will fulfill a promise to upgrade a drainage inlet at the front of his property, making it larger.

They will also send a crew out in a few days to reinspect the culvert that Modest believes is the source of the problem.

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