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Rain causing constant problems for Jewel Woods neighborhood

ST. JOSEPH COUNTY, Ind. -

Rain Thursday meant more flooding for the Jewel Woods neighborhood.

Homeowners say it’s a constant occurrence in area, just south of South Bend.

Chuck Watts, who lives on Scott Street, worries every time it rains.

“If we get a half an inch or more, it’s terrible,” Watts said.

This week, he can see his house reflected in the massive puddle in his lawn, leftover from rain.

“I have to put boots on to get the paper and the mail,” Watts said.

This is the norm, according to Watts and other neighbors.

However puddles are minor compared to the damage the area saw last August following record rainfall.

Watts' neighbors have similar stories, but many are keeping silent now for legal reasons.

In the Jewel Woods area, 35 neighbors have filed a tort claim against St. Joseph County and Indiana.

The tort has until May, but could turn into a seven-figure lawsuit, according to the residents’ lawyer, Charlie Rice.

The neighbors are claiming the U.S. 31 overpass is causing the flooding to become unbearable.

This flooding really emerged once the 31 interchange and pass was created a couple of years ago, and it’s just become worse,” Rice said.

Jamie Woods, the attorney for St. Joseph County, says government engineers are completing their research on the flooding, and will present it next Friday.

As for Watts, he says any pride he had in his home has washed away.

“I’d like to move, but nobody’s going to buy the property after all this flooding in here but we’re stuck here,” Watts said.

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