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Drainage problem leads homeowner to slip and fall

5:30 PM, Aug 19, 2013   |    comments
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City Council member Clay Yarborough pledged to make the necessary changes to the property.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Nancy Medina was manually clearing the curb of mud and standing water when she slipped an fell.

"My knee still hurts. My foot still hurts. The worst is the ribs if I move a certain way or take too deep of breath it really hurts," said Medina.

Medina cleans the curbs routinely to get rid of the slime build up and the standing water caused by a failed drainage system.

"There are old clay pipes," said Medina," probably crushed at this point. 

The Medinas bought their Arlington home ten years ago. Recently they discovered a failure in the under-drain system.

The result has been standing water, poor drainage, and soil erosion. In response the city has placed barricades in Medina's and the neighbor's front yard where there's a wash out.

"There are certain sections of our yard that are overgrown," she said. "You can't even get into the front garden, because when you do, you sink up to your knees."

The city had promise to make the $93,000 repair this year but now that decision is being delayed.

"It is just a hazard," said John Medina.

Medina said the hazards are very obvious: standing water, mosquitoes and fungus.

He said a simple task such as mowing the front lawn has become a challenge. 

"I've never had a problem with any type of sinkholes, any type excessive water, underdrain puddles," said Medina. "Nothing like that existed prior to this issue."

District Councilman Clay Yarborough said he is working on it. 

"I regret Mrs. Medina fall and I am thankful it was not worse. Public Works is designing a new drainage system," said Yarborough. "Construction is tentatively scheduled to begin in January."

"I am committed to seeing the project through to completion and will move it through the process quicker if I am able," said Yarborough.

"We're not asking for much," said John Medina.

The Medinas said one of the attractions to buying their home was the size of the front yard, a place where their sons could play.

"I wanted my children to have a safe place to play and to explore," said Nancy Medina. "They can't even use it because the mud and the mosquitoes are so bad."

City spokesperson Debbie Delgado said the risk management division has assigned an adjuster to Medina's claim. They are looking into her injuries and the city's liability.

As for when the work will begin public works is still planning on January 2014, Delgado is checking with public works to see if there's a temporary solution.

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