DARLINGTON, S.C. (WBTW)– A Darlington man with several health issues said his home floods so often that it’s sunk more than a foot into the ground. The water has caused an estimated $70,000 worth of damage to his home, and he says the city won’t hep him.
“It’s like they’re saying, ‘Just go ahead and die, Mr. Russell,’ because they won’t fix it,” David Russell said, “They sent a guy out here to survey and all that and nothing was done.” Russell said mold from the flooding is a threat to his health because he suffers from asthma, COPD and heart problems.
He said ditches near his house overflow when it rains, leaving the water to run into his yard. He filed an insurance claim against the city for the damage.
“They sent a letter back that said it wasn’t their fault,” Russell said, “But how couldn’t it be their fault if I’m in the city limits and I’m paying taxes?” The letter from the city’s insurer said his home is in a low-lying area and flooding is to be expected. They determined the city was not at fault.
“If the water would drain off my property, I’d be fine,” Russell said. He said the water has also damaged supports under his house. One local flood damage repair company said with damage that extensive, it’s usually easier to just demolish the house. That is not an option for Russell.
“This is my house that my mama left me so I can’t go anywhere,” Russell said. He said he has lived there his whole life and the flooding has gotten progressively worse over the last ten years.
A Darlington streets and sanitation official said he was unable to comment due to Russell’s claim against the city. News13 reached out to the interim city manager and is awaiting a response.