10 Investigates: Howard Man Claims Government Destroying Home
A local family says a sewage project is causing their house to fall apart and they blame county government for allowing it to happen. 10TV brought you the story of these Knox County homeowners two years ago. Now 10 Investigates Nathan Baca follows up to show who is being held accountable for the damage.
Drive down Coshocton Road in Howard and it's hard to miss the signs on Francis Flood's house. "It's indescribable. Indescribable. They're so calloused,” said Flood.
Knox County hired a contractor to install a sewer pipeline next to Flood’s home. The county says they put the pipeline in to avoid bacteria leaking into the Kokosing River. Flood stated when county contractors dug the pipeline within feet of his house; they damaged the very foundation of his home.
10TV measured the distance from Flood’s foundation to the sewage grinder pump. It’s approximately 5 feet apart. Flood added, "Yeah. And that's my kitchen. If there's any kind of breakage in my pressure line, it's going to spray sewage all over that house. That's why they don't put them there."
Contractors ripped out trees next to Flood's home. He says the missing roots are causing his home to slowly slide into the neighboring riverbed.
Inside Flood's basement, 10TV observed wall separation and damage. Inside Flood’s house, the ceilings are warped, sagging and beginning to split apart.
This isn't the first time 10TV visited Flood. He invited 10TV to his home in 2012 shortly after the sewer project began. Since then, both the Ohio EPA and Knox County Health Department wrote Flood back stating it's up to the Knox County Commission to fix this.
Just as 10TV asked Flood two years ago, Knox County's top attorney, prosecutor Chip McConville, has the same explanation. McConville claims the damage to Flood's home was not caused by the digging project, but by something else unknown.
"I have to rely on what the experts are telling me in terms of what I take back to the commission," explained Knox County Prosecutor Chip McConville.
When asked if the county engineers supplied him this information, McConville explained, "They were engineers that were hired to perform that sewer project."
The county says they cannot justify the taxpayer expense of an independent engineering study of damage at Flood's home. Meanwhile, Flood says he will continue his Coshocton Road protest, as long as the house those signs are nailed to remains standing.
Flood adds three engineers he's hired agree with him the county sewer project is to blame for his foundation damage. He's hiring an attorney to sue Knox County.