7 On Your Side: Homeowner battles flooding damage; who is responsible?
TYLER, TX (KLTV) -
An East Texas family returned from vacation to a flooded house, and they're looking for answers. The homeowners are convinced that something the city did resulted in serious damage inside their home, but according to the city, their records show nothing abnormal that might have caused the extreme leak.
"This whole area was flooded and underneath the sink, where these pipes are is where the damage was," explains Tyler homeowner Chris Conner.
The damage spilled into the dining room where baseboards have been removed. The flood spread into the living room where the wood floors have been uprooted. Two bedrooms and a bathroom are also in need of repair.
"Right now, we still have four fans remaining, two dehumidifiers and the temperature is a constant 83-85 degrees [in here]" says Conner.
There was so much water standing in Conner's home that from outside the house you could see water spilling into the backyard.
"We've had the insurance adjuster, we've had plumbers in, we've had clean-up crews in," says Conner.
What they haven't had is an explanation for why this happened. Conner suspected a water pressure spike broke the pipes beneath his sink, but in an email, the city said they found "nothing specific outside of their normal operating procedures" that would have caused a pressure spike in the area.
Even if they had, a city ordinance protects the city. The ordinance states, "...the city shall not be liable for damage to plumbing, pipes or fixtures on premises caused by pressure from the city water system..."
Conner, however, is still skeptical the city isn't at fault. Less than a year ago, his neighbors a mile away experienced similar flooding when their water heaters burst. In that scenario, a 7 On Your Side report ended with the city cutting the homeowners checks after an investigation showed a pressure wave was to blame. The city says that incident and this one are not related.
Regardless, Conner wants answers.
The city sent both KLTV and the homeowners the water meter readings for the address where the flooding happened. The documents show no abnormal increase in water consumption at the residence, despite the flooding.