A 94-year-old Dickson woman had to move out of her home recently, but it had nothing to do with her age: her house keeps flooding, and it's unclear who's responsible for fixing it.

Oma Wells' house on Fabric Road flooded for the second time this year after a hard rain fell in Dickson on June 29. Her family turned to the News4 I-Team because they couldn’t get the state or the city to fix the problem.

“I don't know what they're going to do," Wells said. "We just hope and pray that they're going to do something."

The first time her home flooded, Well said most of her furniture and family heirlooms were ruined.

"[It's] just a heartbreaking thing," she said.

Her family thought the problem was happening because of a faulty drainage pipe that runs under Highway 46. TDOT agreed.

A spokesperson for TDOT said the pipe has collapsed and is blocked. Since the pipe rests on the property line between two businesses, TDOT said there isn't much they can do since they aren't authorized to work on private land.

The spokesperson said TDOT feels strongly that making the necessary repairs to the pipe is the city's responsibility.

The problem is, the City of Dickson isn't jumping in to fix it either.

"All I know is that the state feels like it's on private property and they're not responsible," Dickson Director of Planning and Zoning Jason Pilkinton said.

The I-Team’s Nancy Amons asked Pilkington how the city feels about fixing the pipe. "The same [as TDOT]," he said.

Meanwhile, Wells has moved in with her sister, ready to give up what has been her family's home for nearly 70 years.

"If they ever get the water fixed, I 'll sell the whole thing," Wells said.

The 6-acre tract is prime for commercial development. But to sell it, she first has to stop the flooding.

"They say 'the good Lord don't put too much on you than you can handle.' I guess that's right," Wells said.

The city, TDOT and the private property owners are trying to figure out what to do. TDOT met with the Wells and other parties involved on Monday morning. TDOT agreed to clean out a portion of the pipe and take exploratory measures to see what’s causing the problem.

Copyright 2018 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.



Nancy Amons is an award-winning member of the News4 I-Team. She has been breaking stories in Middle Tennessee for more than 20 years.

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