Willard A. Sullivan and James Vaughan, Attorneys at Law, for claimant.
Nancy J. Aliff, Attorney at Law, for respondent.


Claimant Mary Kathyrn Estes is the owner of residential real estate
located on County Route
18 in Crab Orchard, Raleigh County, West Virginia. Her property is
adjacent to a hillside.
Claimant testified that she had no problem with water damage prior to
the early 1970's when the
respondent repaved the surface of Route 18. Claimant's husband described
how the repairs had
altered the character of the road and caused it to form a natural
contour ditch line toward
claimant's house.

On August 21, 1980, there was a rainstorm during which flooding
occurred on claimant's
property. The property sustained damages in the amount of approximately
$29,324.55. The
flow of the water at that time created a natural drainage ditch which
caused the water to enter
claimant's property at her mailbox and flow into the house. As a result
of the flooding, certain
damage occurred; the floor pulled away from the block wall and sunk on
one corner of the
house, cracks developed in the wall of the basement, the septic system
required repair, and
appliances, furniture, rugs, etc. were destroyed.

Claimants allege that the flooding which occurred on the property was
caused by respondent's
resurfacing of Route 18. As a result, the ditch line adjacent to the
road was altered, which
caused water to be diverted onto claimant's property.

Claude Blake, Claims Investigator for the respondent, testified that
the distance from claimant's
mailbox westward back up the hill on Route 18 was 222 feet. He further
testified that there had
been a rainfall of 1.3 inches in a twenty-four hour period at the time
of the flooding. He also
stated that there is an area from the mailbox sloping down toward the
side of the house which
appeared to be a potential conduit of water, and that the house is below
the surface of the road.

Mr. Charles W. Bragg, an Assistant County Supervisor for respondent in
Raleigh County,
testified that Route 18 had been paved in the early 1970's, but only
repaired, and not repaved
since that time. He further testified that the terrain was too rocky to
support a ditch, and any
accumulation of water had to run down onto claimant's property.

After examining all the evidence submitted in this claim, the Court has
determined that
claimant's property is in a natural drainage area. The repairing of
Route 18 occurred in the early
1970's, and from that period until August 21, 1980, claimant had no
problems with her property.
The unusual amount of rainfall in 1980 was instrumental in the damage to
claimant's property.
There is no evidence of any negligence on the part of respondent, and
for that reason, the Court
is of the opinion, and does, deny the claim.

Claim disallowed.