At first glance, the Allen home looks like a lot of other homes in Columbia. But take a step back, or look to the left, and you can tell something is wrong. The sandbags in front of the house and large taped off area to the left tell you that much.
"It's frightful. I mean, you just don't know. I look at these pictures-my daughter's wedding picture, mine and Bob's wedding picture-and I go, you know, is that gonna be here in the morning?" says Sue Allen, the owner of the home along with her husband, Bob.
What's "frightful" is the Allens say all the rain we've been getting is eating away at their yard.What happens is the area across the road becomes flooded, the culvert gets stopped up with debris,the water rises up and comes up over the road, and runs down the street and across the Allen's property. Their home is situated on the corner, so it is easy for all the water to run downhill and across their front yard. All of this water has created a huge washed out area, which looks like a giant hole on the side of the Allen's home. And it's not just the hole itself making the Allens nervous-it's the fact it keeps inching towards the house.
"It's just slowly but surely washing out from under that grass, just leaving that grass hanging,which means right on up to the house." explains Sue.
The Allens told me that while West Columbia's city council and senators have been very supportive, they feel as though the Highway Department is not stepping up to help. They feel as though it's the Highway Department's responsibility to fix their yard because they live on a state maintained road and this is not the first time this has happened.
"This is the third time in four years that this has happened.So it's not an act of God. It is the Highway Department's responsibility to get this fixed. There's just no point in fixing the yard if they don't do it.But i do feel that since we've fixed it one time, they really should come back and fix our yard for us. " Sue states.
I contacted a spokesman from the South Carolina Department of Transportation and they told me they are committed to investigating the cause, effect, and potential solutions to the Allen's concerns. It plans on meeting with local legislators, the city, and county officials in the upcoming weeks to move this process forward. And if nothing happens, what will the Allens do?
"I don't know...I just don't know. We are just hoping the Highway Department is going to come through. They just cannot abandon us. We pay taxes like everybody else does." concludes Sue.