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Homeowner feels stuck after buying house plagued by flooding, says he wasn't warned about its history

2 months 1 week 2 days ago Tuesday, November 29 2022 Nov 29, 2022 November 29, 2022 9:45 PM November 29, 2022 in News
Source: WBRZ

DENHAM SPRINGS - One man has flooded seven times since he moved into his house about four years ago. Daniel Dunlap says the rain keeps him up at night.

"It's miserable, we're just having a hard, hard time," he said.

The home on Impson Street at Highway 1019 in Denham Springs most recently flooded on Thanksgiving. Dunlap says they got about four inches of water inside the house. Sandbags around the home don't do anything to help.

"It's coming up through the slab now, through these cracks," he said.

The 80-year-old says he cleaned up the mess as best he could. Still, there's mold on the walls and tiles popping up from the floor.

He thinks the house is the source of his ailments. Since living in the home, his wife has developed COPD, is on oxygen and has heart failure. He also has COPD but feels stuck in his situation.

"I don't have the money to go buy a house. I can't just quit paying on this, you know. What am I gonna do?"

According to the National Flood Insurance Program property loss history report for Dunlap's home, 25 claims have been made on the property dating back to 1998. When Dunlap moved to Denham Springs from Biloxi in 2018, he was notified that the house flooded in 2016 and one other time - that's it. The history of the property didn't reveal itself until after he signed the paperwork and moved in.

"Come to find out when I got the papers in the mail, that it had flooded 18 times before we moved in here and nobody ever told me anything."

The house has flooded almost every year since 1998, including three times in 2016. The house has flooded seven times since Dunlap moved in less than four years ago.

"We try to clean it up the best we can with sprays and bleach and water, we do everything we can to stop it," he said.

He filed suit against the seller in 2018 but recently learned that the court dismissed the case for lack of evidence.

The parish says that Dunlap can file an application to elevate the house, but because he wasn't living in the home during the 2016 flood, he wasn't offered a buyout.

"It needs to be torn down, or I need to be bought out."

Dunlap can't afford to leave but can't afford to stay, either.

"It's bad for our health," he said.

He's hoping that someone will know the answer to get him out of the trouble he's in. Dunlap says he's expecting a visit from FEMA on Wednesday to evaluate the latest flood damage.

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