Flood causing New Albany man's home to sink, house may cave in



Posted on August 15, 2009 at 6:44 PM

Updated Tuesday, Oct 13 at 1:55 PM

(WHAS11) - A New Albany man says all that flood water is causing his home to sink deeper and deeper into the ground.

He's been battling a sinkhole for years, but after over 8-feet of water rushed in last week, he's now worried his home is going to cave-in.

Twice in one week Robert Armbrust says he's been flooded out. It doesn't just ruin his belongings, but his house is dropping a little bit deeper in the ground.

308 East Oak Street has been here for decades...

"Her mom and dad originally had the house and they've had it for 60 years. And when they died we took it over," said Robert.

And after 60 plus solid years, Robert says three years ago, his house started leaning...

"What's up with the cracks up here?" asked WHAS 11 News reporter Adrianna Hopkins.

"That's 'cause the house is leaning," said Robert.

More like, sinking into the ground. He showed us the root of the problem --- a hole in his backyard. It's only about a foot wide, but he says, underground, it runs the length of his home. So every time a heavy rain blows through, there's a problem.

"When it hits this storm sewer drain over here, it backs up all the other water and puts it right back up in here," explained Robert.

In his yard, and into the hole. The water washes away the dirt holding up his home's foundation. He blames the City of New Albany, saying they redirected a pipe on Elm Street that runs water down the alley. He says this sewer drain can't handle all the water it gets. And for three years he says he's fought to have it changed.

"Up until they got that pipe in up there we had heavy rains but we never got flooded like that. But when that water comes down the alley... it can't go nowhere but back up in our backyard."

He says after Tuesday's flash flooding, the city seems willing to look at blueprints and see what can be done. But there's still the matter of righting, or leveling his home.

"They wanted $10,500 to raise it up and do it right. I ain't got that kind of money."

"What about homeowners insurance?" asked Adrianna.

"It won't cover it," he said.

"So what do you do?" asked Adrianna.

"I'm stuck," he said.

City officials weren't available for comment Monday night. But Robert says they were here Monday morning to discuss the problem, and said they'd be out again tomorrow to check things out.