Insult to injury: Flooded house gets swimming hole

When Ken and Heidi Vanderford's house flooded August 3 because of a collapsed storm drain, they didn't think things could get much worse.

Then along came Isabel.

Ken Vanderford piled sandbags around the house, but the hurricane's torrents poured through the back door and flooded the downstairs again. And now the couple have this huge, 10-foot-deep trench in their front yard. The family's tale of woe was the subject of The Hook's August 28 cover story.

Vanderford applied to the City of Charlottesville to repair the culprit, a rusted-out underground storm drain, but because the drain is on private property, all the city is willing to provide is engineering help and 75 percent of the cost of replacing the drain and then only if all the Vanderfords' neighbors sign on for the project.

Right now, only two out of five have agreed. "We don't have a project if they don't all agree to participate," says city planning chief Jim Tolbert.

Next try for the Vanderfords: hurricane disaster relief.