LEESBURG, Va. - For the second time in three years, a river of water has saturated a Leesburg home. The current was so powerful that it knocked down fences on its way across the yard and into the home's basement.
It happened at around 10 p.m. Tuesday as storms were passing through the region.
Homeowner Chad West said when he heard the water coming into his house, he ran down to rescue his mother-in-law in the basement.
"She was sitting in the chair where she typically reads at night and it was raining," West described. "So when I came down, she was sitting in the chair. Water was gushing in. She had no idea. She couldn't hear the water. Had it happened later if we were all asleep, she probably would have died.”
Everything inside the basement was destroyed. The furniture was turned upside down by the force of the water. Antiques are a complete loss while the kitchen is gone. The water mark several feet high is evident as you look around the room.
West is beside himself over the destruction of his home. He said it should never have happened.
"She won't move back into the house,” he said. “She is just too afraid. Like my wife, the post-traumatic situation of this all is horrendous because it's too much. Until I know that it's not going to happen again, then I can't have them move back into the home.”
Now here is the head-spinning part – the exact same thing happened in Sept. 2015.
West sued the builder and settled the case, so he cannot talk about what happened. However, his neighbor Ron Brown is able to describe what he witnessed.
"It hit the two houses here,” said Brown. “Chad got the whole basement ruined. He was out on a limb, couldn't do anything. He didn't have insurance for it or anything. So they came in and put this berm in over here and we thought, ‘Oh, everything is fine.’ But as you can see, the berm dips right here. There is a lip. They should have continued this on.”
So the wall of water came over the rise and barreled into the backyards of West's and Brown's homes, knocking down fences along its way into their basements. That is how strong the current was.
Both men feel their houses built by Reston-based Stanley Martin Homes should never have been built in the first place. Their homes have now lost tremendous value and might as well be torn down.
"There is no way that I can feel safe or I can protect my family in that house, and I can never ask my mother-in-law to move back into a basement that was flooded,” West said. “So I will never feel safe in that house.”
West said he feels fortunate that he now has flood insurance. However, he is still searching for answers about his future, where he will go and what he will do.