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NH Couple Sues 'Ice Castles' Saying Basement Flooded When Attraction Melted

NORTH WOODSTOCK, NH (CBS) - A New Hampshire couple is suing their popular, icy neighbor -- for dumping 16 inches of water in their basement. "I've never seen anything like it," said Kelly Trinkle, standing amid an arsenal of photos and videos to support her contention.

"Apparently they think it's just fine to flood your new neighbors," she said, "and not take any responsibility."

She's talking about last April, when roughly 35,000 gallons of water gushed into the basement of the home where she grew up in North Woodstock, New Hampshire. So much, she called 911, and firefighters arrived to dig protective trenches around the house.

"And I was like 'What is going on?!' I was totally freaking out," she said.

In the days that followed, she and her husband say they quickly tracked the offending river uphill to the retention ponds on the property of their new neighbor – Ice Castles – which had just spent its first winter on the site – turning millions of gallons of water into an icy attraction for the paying public.

"It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out what's going on," said Trinkle. "And they have been denying it since the very beginning. I just don't understand it. It's very frustrating."

Then – and now – the company argues the April flood was "not from melting ice castles", which were "largely still in ice form" at the time.

ice castles
Tens of thousands of visitors come to see massive ice castles each winter. (Image Credit: Ice Castles)

Instead, company lawyers blame "significant rainfall" in the days prior, "combined with the still frozen ground" which overwhelmed a nearby culvert.

"I end up with over 35,000 gallons of water in my basement," said Trinkle, "when we'd never had a drop before."

ice castles flood claim
Water pouring into Kelly Trinkle's basement. (Image credit: Kelly Trinkle)

Indeed, Trinkle said it's very strange that the family home has been bone dry ever since it was built in the 1960's – until now.

"The only thing new in town is Ice Castles," she observes. "This was the first winter they were here."

The Trinkles have spent $30,000 on a system to drain their basement and keep it dry.

Kelly says she still has nightmares about water gushing into it again this spring.

Coincidentally, the couples lawsuit against Ice Castles – which operates similar theme parks in several states – is scheduled for mediation in April.

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