Frustrated homeowner wants Polk County to help with flooding issues

Polk County

POLK COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – Kristen Thompson is an overwhelmed homeowner. She tells 8 On Your Side her Auburndale home is a constant nightmare. 

“I need help! I never knew water could accumulate so fast with an afternoon rain. It is to the point where I can’t troubleshoot it anymore,” said Thompson.  

Thompson purchased her Seville Road home in late 2016 and has been dealing with severe flooding since Hurricane Irma in September of 2017. Thompson claims every time it rains, her front yard and carport become consumed by water. 

According to the seller’s property disclosure, Thompson was made aware of drainage issues in the front yard and driveway, but she believes the real issue about her property was withheld. 

“I started to see, oh my goodness, afternoon thunderstorms, I’m having water at the door. This is much more than I was made to know. I’ve had to have yard drains installed and underground sub pumps, gutters installed at the request of the city to help alleviate the water, it’s still coming in,” said Thompson. 

Thompson tells 8 On Your Side her bank account is being drained as she continues to spend thousands on equipment and supplies, including cinder blocks and sandbags, in an effort to keep the water at bay. Thompson has even missed countless days of work dealing with the aftermath of severe weather.  

“I’m living paycheck to paycheck and have to call into work and I don’t even know if I can work my next scheduled shift. It just all depends on the weather,” said Thompson. 

The disgruntled homeowner has also asked Polk County officials for help but states they are reluctant to offer her assistance. 

8 On Your Side contacted Jay Jarvis, the Roads and Drainage director in Polk County. Jarvis agreed to meet at Thompson’s home to discuss possible solutions.  

“There is a very limited drainage system here and we get these downpours and the system can’t handle it. We call it the Seville Road Drainage Improvement Project. As of Oct. 1, if the board approves our budget, that project will be funded.” said Jarvis. 

If approved, Jarvis estimates the draining improvement project will cost around $125,000 and road work won’t begin until next year. 

Thompson believes that timeframe is far off and not guaranteed. She wants the county to step in before then. 

“Why can’t you help me with some manpower or barriers that can be put in place to keep it from my driveway? At this point, I’m willing to block my driveway to keep the water in, block the whole front of my house. I don’t care. I don’t want to lose my home,” said Thompson.  

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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