By Kurtis Ming

GRASS VALLEY (CBS13) — A Grass Valley viewer says she’s out $20,000 after the water company’s canal flooded her property. When they refused to cover the bill, she called Kurtis.

Video shows the flooding on Lesa Osterholm’s property in January 2018. The Nevada Irrigation District’s canal overflowed, buckling her driveway. She says it cost $20,000 to repair.

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“It was running like a small river. It was unbelievable,” Osterholm said.

The company admits the water came from their canal. In fact, they’re spending millions now to replace parts of it. So why won’t they cover her damage?

Osterholm says she followed the district’s instructions by mailing in a claim form within a year as required. She did not include an exact amount because the work had not been done. It wasn’t until May 2020 when she finally submitted receipts.

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The Nevada Irrigation Company denied her claim, saying “It was not presented within the time allowed by law.”

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Osterholm said the district told her they never received her first claim form, and she can’t prove she mailed it in.

“I think they should do the right thing, and the appropriate thing, which is cover the damage,” she said.

The district won’t talk with CBS13 about this case because they are concerned it will end up in court.

So what should you do if an agency damages your property? Get it fixed right away, or at least get bids to fix it. Waiting often makes the repair more expensive, which can cause problems.

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Osterholm submitted receipts 28 months after the event, which could make paying the claim messy.

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Also, file claims in person, within the time frame allowed, and ask for a receipt. If you mail documents, pay for certified mail. That way you have proof you filed in time.