OPINION ISSUED AUGUST 8, 1988
DEPARTMENT OF HIGHWAYS
Claimant appeared in person.
Nancy J. Aliff, Attorney at Law, for respondent.
Claimant has property and a home on State Route 1 in Raleigh
From October of
1986 through May of 1987, there was heavy rain in the area.
yard was damaged,
and she alleges that this resulted from respondent's failure to
a ditch line. She seeks
Claimant testified that she purchased the aforementioned property
October 1984. Her
house faces Route 1 south. There is a culvert which goes under
and a branch of a
creek on the lower side of the house. The water flows from south to
north in a natural drain. She
stated that she talked with employees of respondent concerning the
problem. She expended
$1,000.00 to have a ditch dug and topsoil replaced.
Bill Wilcox, with the Department of Highways, testified that he is
familiar with the claimant's
property. A utility company placed a water line in respondent's
After the heavy rain,
respondent's ditch was "completely away." Prior to the heavy rain,
was a ditch line on
West Virginia Route 1 in the vicinity of claimant's property. It is
sough of claimant's property, up
the hill. The ditch which claimant had dug is not located on
respondent's right of way. The ditch
line which washed out is approximately 400 feet in length. He
that the respondent's
policy is that water, which is in a natural drain, "... goes where
goes." He is unable to say
whether in the 30 or 40 years of the ditch line's existence it has
maintained by respondent.
After examining all the evidence submitted in this claim, the Court
claimant's property is in a natural drainage area. With the
October of 1986 through
May of 1987, the claimant had no problems with her property. The
amount of rainfall in
that time period was instrumental in the damage to claimant's
There is no evidence of
any negligence on the part of respondent, and for that reason, the
is of the opinion to, and
does, deny the claim.