Couple Finds Flooding in Their New Home

MUSKEGON TOWNSHIP, Mich. (May 12, 2014) — Richard and Sara Hancock moved into their home on April 15th with their
baby boy Royce. It was a new beginning.

However, despite positive inspections, they said the day they signed on the dotted line for the once-foreclosed home, they found flooding.

“It was about a foot of water in the crawl space,” Richard Hancock said.

He explained, “It’s coming right through the ground and through the foundation.”

Hancock has had to toss the furnace and buy another one for $2,000. He said his sump pump has been motoring for weeks.

“It’s about 3 to 5 gallons every minute,” Hancock said.

The water flows right into the drainage ditch in front of his home. The water in the ditch appears stagnant, as if it is failing to flow through culverts along the street and around the corner into a larger drain. Hancock showed me as we walked the route.

“I dug this two foot trench get to the water to move,” Hancock said.

He’s done alot of clearing in the ditches along both streets. He and his wife say they’ve called the township and the drain commission.

“And I’ve went down to the road commission. I’ve actually sent service requests in,” he explained.

After a week of inaction, they turned to the FOX 17 Problem Solvers for help.

“The road commission does maintain the ditches, however, if there’s an existing ditch and the water is on the property, we are not in the business to drain properties.
We’re in the business for draining roads,” Lauri Peterson, with the Muskegon County Road Commission said.

Muskegon maintenance superintendent Lauri Peterson said this is also a problem on other streets in the county.
She said if a “driveway culvert” is blocked or broken, it’s the homeowners responsibility to clear it or have it fixed.

The problem arises when homeowners aren’t willing to comply and that prolongs the backup.

“We will knock on the door and try to get them to clean out their drive culvert,” Peterson said.

If it’s a crushed culvert, she said the road commission can force the issue since it could create a problem for the roads.
She told me she is requesting that an employee go check out the problem on Hancock’s street.

“I just don’t want (Royce) to have to worry about mold,” Hancock said that’s his biggest worry.

Hancock has no plans to sell the property. He just wants to do what he can to get the problem fixed.

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