Woman blames environmental agency for flooding to home - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Woman blames environmental agency for flooding to home

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Flooding inside the home. Flooding inside the home.
Flooding in the garage. Flooding in the garage.

GOSHEN, KY (WAVE) - Months of flooding, parts of a house in ruins and an Oldham County Environmental Agency is being blamed for the damage.

Shelly Slagel, a single mom and the homeowner, says the flooding issue has been devastating. It's left her and her children living on pins and needles and pointing the finger.

The first flood happened back on April 30.

"It was terrifying because it just looked like a waterfall," she said.

Slagel said water poured into her family room, front door and garage. A virtual river, flowing from the direction of the newly replaced sewer line outside her Goshen home, terrifying Slagel and her two young children.

"I didn't know what to do," Slagel said. "And I'm telling the kids to get to the back of the house. And that's when Jack was screaming we're going to die! And I'm saying it's ok even though I know I'm crying."

Slagel spent $2,600 cleaning up, hiring Paul Davis Restoration to rip out her walls and carpets to prevent mold. Then four days later it happened again.

"It was all back to the mud and the gunk that we had been living with," she said.

Slagel called the Oldham County Environmental Authority, which is the government agency that replaced the sewer line. Slagel believes after installing that sewer line, OCEA workers re-graded the street in a way that left her house in the path of flood waters every time there's heavy rain. Slagel said OCEA representatives came to her home, put up some sand bags and hay bails and left.

"I just figured they would fix it," Slagel said. "And I was like ok, lets just get this done and move on. And that's what I was assured would happen. And it sure did not happen."

Slagel said the makeshift dam worked but only for a while. She said her home has now flooded a total of 6 times in 8 months.

"And I try, of course, to put on a brave face for the kids so they don't get upset," Slagel said breaking down in tears. "But they have to know."

Despair turned to anger when Slagel said the Oldham County Environmental Authority washed its hands of the situation. Slagel said OCEA stopped returning her calls so she hired an attorney, and found out OCEA is now blaming the subcontractor on the sewer line project, Cleary Construction.

"OCEA expects that entity to shoulder responsibility for Ms. Slagel's damages" OCEA'S attorney wrote in the letter.

But Slagel said Cleary Construction's insurance carrier denied her claim, arguing her home, built below street level, was already prone to flooding.

Slagel said she never had one drop of water inside her home until OCEA's sewer "improvement project."

"And to know that my tax dollars went for this project in the first place, and then they are not doing anything to rectify the situation, is heartbreaking," Slagel said.

The Oldham County Environmental Authority said it could not comment because of Slagel's pending litigation. Calls and emails to Cleary Construction were not immediately returned.

Slagel said her son Jack, 7, is now suffering breathing problems from the mold growing on the flood damaged items she has to keep her in garage in hopes hoping the Cleary Construction's insurance company will change its mind and replace them.

Slagel said her own insurance company wont pay because they said the flooding is Oldham County's fault.

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