Watsons owner asks Columbus to reimburse for flood damage

Published 3:53 pm Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The owner of Watsons Carpet and Appliances in Columbus is asking the town to pay for flood damages that occurred in the store during a heavy spring rain.
Columbus Town Council met last Thursday and heard from Larry Hill, who says the town has previously declined paying $9,219 in damages.
Hill brought engineer Eric Horton who accessed the area and concluded that the flooding occurs in front of the building due to an expansion joint that is higher than the stores doorway.
“When we have heavy rain events that flow overcomes the capacity of the pipe,” Horton told council members. “Its creating a ponding situation in which (Hills) door is the low point.”
Council members said the towns insurance adjuster painted a different picture of the infrastructure, so council agreed to look at both Hortons and the adjusters assessments at the same time. Horton was asked to provide a written report and council agreed to put the item back on the towns June agenda for discussion.
Hill said the store was built in 1955 and up until 2005 never once did the building flood. He said it was in 2005 that the town did work on the streets. Hill also mentioned that another flooding occurred in 2005 after the street work was done and the town did reimburse him for those damages.
Hill said he has had a glass door professional look at the front door with the conclusion that there is no problem with the door.
“I feel in all honesty Im not responsible for the work,” Hill told council.
Horton recommended to the town that a fix to the problem could be to either increase the pipe size, but that would require tearing up curb and sidewalk. Another solution could be to repour the concrete in front of the door, Horton said.
Hill described that around March, during a heavy rain, water flooded all the way through the back of the store. Town officials said they think there was over three inches of rain that fell that night.
Hill said he is very concerned and his parents even come and place sandbags at the store when there is going to be a heavy rain and check culverts to make sure they are clear.
“Is that their responsibility?” Hill asked. “The important thing is to get it fixed so it doesnt happen again.”

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