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Phoenix Couple Claim HOA to Blame for Flooding

By June 8, 2023No Comments

By Eryka Forquer | Arizona Republic

The Argyroses claim their homeowner association failed to maintain this wash and culvert, causing them to overflow.


In August 2021, Nick and Josie Argyros woke up in the middle of the night to a thumping noise. Nick got out of bed to investigate the source of the sound and was alarmed when he found himself standing in ankle-deep water.

“I thought it must’ve been from a pipe,” Nick Argyros said. “When we turned the light on, I saw water over my ankles that was dark brown, and I knew that water was not from a pipe.”

The murky water wasn’t just in their bedroom. It spread throughout their single-story home and was flowing down the stairs that led to their fully furnished basement, which was completely submerged in water. Water had also entered their garage.

That night began many frustrating months — verging on two years — for the Argyroses. A second flood, significant financial outlays and conflict with their homeowner association is culminating in a court case being heard in late June. Their experience, the couple said, is a cautionary tale about the role and responsibilities of homeowner associations.

On that August 2021 night, amidst their panic, the Argyroses noticed that the water on the main floor was rising and nearing electrical outlets on the wall. More than an hour after they called 911, the fire department arrived, Nick Argyros said.

“They kept telling us that it was a non-emergency and they would give us to some operator,” he said. “I don’t think they could figure out how the hell we had that much water in our house.”

It had rained that night near their Phoenix home, but the Argyroses “couldn’t imagine how that much water was in the house,” Nick Argyros said. Nearly 72,000 gallons of water entered their basement, and several inches of water filled their main floor, according to court documents.

It took over three days to pump out the basement, and the sludge on the main floor eventually dried up, Nick Argyros said.

Nearly one year later, in July 2022, the Argyroses’ home flooded again after a rain. This time, several inches of water entered the garage and the main floor of their house.

“You never think that your home is going to flood a first time, let alone a second flood,” Nick Argyros said.

The home has been in the family since 1994 and the couple never experienced any type of flooding prior to August 2021, according to legal filings.

Where did the water come from?

The Argyroses’ home in the subdivision Legacy at the Pointe sits at the base of Lookout Mountain. When it rains, the mountain’s drainage system carries water through a wash that extends into the subdivision.

A section of that wash runs in front of the Argyros home and contains a metal culvert underneath their driveway.

Over time, debris and vegetation fill the culvert, which causes the draining mechanisms to not properly function, Nick Argyros said. This is what the couple said is the cause of both of their house floods.

“All these rocks, volunteer trees, which have just run amok, and people’s backwash from their pools get into the wash,” Josie Argyros said. “So, the problem is that the culvert is blocked and it’s just going to keep flooding until it’s totally cleaned.”

‘We’re just stuck’

Standing outside of the Argyroses’ home, it’s hard to envision the damage that the two floods caused.

“Everything looks copacetic from the outside,” Josie Argyros said. “But when you walk through these doors, you just can’t even grasp what you’re seeing.”

Their home’s interior has missing doors, exposed cement flooring and walls without insulation and drywall. Exposed nails stick out of the ground, and the furniture is sparse. The basement had to be completely gutted.

The couple’s cars, which were in their driveway during the first flood, were both totaled. Their son loaned them his car, which ended up being wrecked during the second flood. Mementos that they stored in the garage and basement were also ruined.

“There wasn’t very much that wasn’t touched by the floods,” Nick Argyros said. “If it wasn’t hanging on the wall, it had some degree of destruction.”

After staying with family for a time after the floods, the couple began living out of their primary bedroom and laundry room. They have a folding table set up in their closet as a makeshift office and their laundry room now doubles as a kitchen.

The Argyroses are worried about rebuilding their home because there’s no guarantee that another flood won’t occur, Josie Argyros said, and if they wanted to sell their home, it would be difficult to find a buyer. “We’re just stuck,” she said.

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