·  Legal News, Analysis, & Commentary

Lawsuits & Litigation

Ice Castles Sued After New Hampshire Woman’s Basement Floods from Run-off

— January 28, 2020

Kelly Trinkle says her basement flooded because of Ice Castles’ poor run-off management.

A New Hampshire woman is suing the owner of Ice Castles, a winter-time New England attraction.

According to New Hampshire Public Radio, the North Woodstock, N.H., abode “looks like a landscape straight out of the movie Frozen.” Open only a few months per year, installations at Ice Castles draw thousands of visitors each season.

And it’s the end of the season Kelly Trinkle fears.

Trinkle, who lives next door to Ice Castles, says something peculiar happened at last winter’s end—the Frozen-esque attraction melted, making her basement look more like Waterworld.

“It was over 15,500 gallons of water in my basement,” Trinkle said.

In her lawsuit, Trinkle alleges that Ice Castles hasn’t done enough to control melt run-off. Last April, Trinkle claims, warm weather brought the remnants of Ice Castles streaming through an adjacent property, eventually settling in her backyard. With some time, gravity and a bit of absorption, it found its way into her basement.

Video taken by Trinkle—and apparently viewed by NHPR—shows a “torrent” of water flooding through her basement windows, pushing past makeshift barriers into the house.

“We’re trying all these things, we are, like, stuffing towels in,” Trinkle said. “And it’s coming in like a waterfall.”

Trinkle spent two days using a sump pump to clear her basement, only for it to flood yet again. Image via Flickr/user:brewatford. (CCA-BY-2.0).

Trinkle and her husband, Dan, spent the better part of two days with a sump pump, trying desperately to clear the run-off. Right when they thought they were done, they heard an unfortunate sound.

“I heard this water coming in,” Trinkle said. “And I was like, what is that sound? So I went over to the window wells, and there was water flowing down from the window wells, down to the ground.”

At its peak, NHPR says, the water in Trinkle’s basement rose to 16 inches. Unsure of what to do and worried about her furnace, Trinkle called the local fire department.

One firefighter, says Trinkle, said the water was probably coming from Ice Castles.

“I was like, ‘oh my god, you’re right,’” she said. “And then I was like, ‘oh my god,’ and then, then I got upset. Then I got upset.”

Despite Trinkle’s footage and flooded basement, Ice Castles said its properties have nothing to do with their neighbor’s drainage problems. In fact, Ice Castles insists that its structures were still mostly solid in mid-April, when water began trickling into Trinkle’s house.

“Rather, due to the topography of the land, the water that flooded the Trinkles’ basement came from a large watershed” in the area, Ice Castles’ attorney told NHPR in a statement. Along with blaming nature, Ice Castles also suggested that the construction of a new culvert may have diverted more water than usual toward the Trinkle residence.

Court papers submitted by the North Woodstock Selectboard back Ice Castles, positing the flooding came through the culvert. But Trinkle says that’s probably not true—that North Woodstock is protecting its own interests by covering for Ice Castles.

“Because they want the tourism dollars in this small town. Of course they do,” Trinkle said. “And I’m not against tourism, but I’m against everybody covering up for Ice Castles flooding my home when I’m a long-time resident. I’ve lived here my entire life, and to cover up a multimillion company who flooded my home. I can’t, I can’t, I can’t sleep at night.”

Trinkle and her husband are suing Ice Castles for $100,000. The Utah-based company owns a half-dozen properties across the country.


Lawsuit: Winter Wonderland Is Neighbor’s Spring Nightmare

When Ice Castles Attraction Melts, Where Does Water Go? Neighbor Alleges Straight Into Her Basement

Join the conversation!