Columbia County Flood Victim Ready to Take Legal Action - WJBF-TV ABC 6 Augusta-Aiken

Columbia County Flood Victim Ready to Take Legal Action

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Columbia County GA -

Flood Victim, Edward Udell says, "This stress thing has gotten me tore up. I am just trying to re-assure my wife that everything will be alright."

It's been an emotional week for Edward Udell and his family. Their home of 40 years is now ruined.  During heavy rains, a rusted pipe broke below the surface of the house causing a sink-hole,  and nearly 90-thousand dollars worth of damage. His deceased son and nearly all of his belongings are ruined.

Udell says, "We got about 90 percent of our walls all torn out now."

Udell and his family are living down the street at a neighbor's house. He says as a wounded veteran he doesn't want people to feel sorry for him, he just wants the city to explain one thing.

"I want to know why they did not upgrade the drainage system when they widened Belair Road 20 years ago," says Udell.

So I asked Columbia County's Engineering division that question. Why they didn't upgrade the pipes 20 years ago, knowing they can rust, and break. I received an unclear response.

George Eastman with Columbia County's Engineering Services Division says,  " I can't answer that one. I wasn't working for the county at that time. I am not sure how or why that process happened."

Eastman says they are going to replace the pipe and do testing underneath the family's home. In fact, they started testing the area early Thursday morning.

Udell says that's not enough though, he wants Columbia County to pay for more and replace all the pipes in his neighborhood preventing other accidents when it rains. He says if things aren't properly corrected, he may take legal action.

"I need to find an attorney that does not work for the county or this area around and has deep pockets that can front the money to sue," explains Udell.

Columbia County's Engineering Department says the Georgia Department of Transportation was in charge of that project.

In the mean time, the Udell family says they are going to permanently move in order to escape other possible flood issues.

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