Local man seeks flood damages

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(Courtesy photo) Careywood resident Kevin Moore contends a substandard culvert floods out his property each year.

SANDPOINT — A Careywood man who routinely sees his property along U.S. Highway 95 flooded is seeking damages from Bonner County after flood waters entered his home in March.

Kevin Moore contends his property becomes inundated for months at a time because a culvert that allows Cocolalla Creek to pass beneath Blacktail Road is too small for the volume of water, which causes stormwater to pond on his property and render parts of it useless.

“Every year is different because Mother Nature is different every year,” Moore said of the flooding problems.

Floodwaters have intruded into his garage over the years, but on March 13, they finally entered his home on March 15, according to a claim for damages filed in 1st District Court. Flood saturated flooring the home, which spread to sheetrock on walls and caused mold problems.

Flooding also damaged contents of the garage and vintage Willys jeep station wagons he restores.

Moore estimates damages from the flood event are at the $90,000 mark, according to the claim.

Moore, who acquired the property in 2006, has been pleading with county officials for years to install a larger culvert beneath the road, but those pleas have not gained much traction.

Moore is also concerned the flooding on his property is causing floodwaters to saturate the railroad bed near his property. Flooding also submerges a high-voltage transfer box on his property, which he views as a safety hazard.

Moore contends the impounding of stormwater on his property is eroding the value of his home, damaging his rights as a property owner and amounts to a regulatory taking by a governmental agency.

Moore’s tort claim serves as a notice of intent to sue if damages are not awarded. If the claim is rejected, Moore would be permitted to pursue damages via litigation in 1st District Court.

Bonner County officials, as a matter of policy, do not comment on pending tort claims.

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