Pojoaque family blames state for flooded property

Posted at: 07/17/2014 6:19 PM
By: Kai Porter, KOB Eyewitness News 4

A Pojoaque family is cleaning up a big, muddy mess in their own front yard. A flash flood caused thousands of dollars in damage and the family says the state should pay for it.

The water’s all gone now, but Sari Jobe showed us the damage it left behind. She woke up Tuesday night and couldn’t believe what she saw right outside her front door.

“We go outside and the water was up to our portal and it was coming in,” said Jobe. “This whole section here was a lake.”

Luckily the inside of her house wasn’t damaged, but almost everything in the yard was.

“I’ve lost my leach field, because we’re all on our own well and our own septic system, and both of the cars. I can’t even start my Volkswagen. It was covered with water all the way to the top of the back seat.”

Jobe’s family has lived in the house for decades and this is the first time the property’s every flooded.

She said the state installed four concrete barriers a few years ago to keep drivers from taking a short cut on a road up the street. But the barriers block rain water from reaching the river and divert it directly towards her home. It also didn't help that three storm drains were clogged. Jobe now wants the state to pay for the damage to her property.

“I don’t have flood insurance. None of us have flood insurance. It wasn't a flood that I caused. It happened because they didn't allow the water to go to the river behind us.”

Until something changes, she’s worried it’ll happen again.

“We keep on calling everybody saying please move those barriers. Please fix this or else it’s going to be bad.”

The New Mexico Department of Transportation said she can file a claim with its general services department. The state said it would be assessing the location Friday for what further actions to take in regards to traffic safety and water problems.