Call now!

1-866-571- 9211 OR VISIT WWW.911FLOOD.COM

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

City and Residents to Deal with Water Damage

In the alley between 42nd and San Jacinto Streets, the rushing stream caused by a broken water main is now dry, but homeowners and city officials continue to deal with the damage.

Late Wednesday night, homeowners began noticing water seeping into their homes after a 24-inch cast-iron water main burst. The pipe was installed in 1954, Odessa City Manager Richard Morton said.

Morton said utility workers were called out at 11 p.m. Wednesday to isolate the break and shut off water valves. The crews worked overnight Thursday and finished repairing the broken portion of the pipe and restored water service around 2 p.m. Friday, according to a City of Odessa news release.

The news release stated the total gallons of water lost could not be determined yet and assessments to calculate the gallons lost will be made next week. Daily water usage was 27.5 million gallonsThursday; previous Thursdays had lower water usage at 20.3 million daily gallons used on Aug. 4 and 19.49 million daily gallons used on Aug. 11.

Assistant City Manager Michael Marrero said the total cost of pipe repairs, water lost and man hours have not been tabulated yet.

City risk-management agents visited homes in the 200 block of San Jacinto Street on Thursday and Friday to assess the flood damage. The department also hired Permian Claims Service for additional damage assessment and Advance Cleaning to vacuum out water from homes.

Risk management director Darrell Wells said he has not yet received a bill from the outside agents and contractors to determine how much damages to homes cost.

Wells said risk managers and other assessors will meet next week to decide what the city of Odessa will need to do.

Though Kevin Mann, a San Jacinto Street resident, appreciated Advance Cleaning vacuuming water from his home, Mann said he is still unsatisfied with how the city of Odessa is handling the flood situation. Mann said he was particularly upset with the risk managers who came to his home.

“The representatives from the city, they’re trained to talk that they’re not responsible. It was like she was reading a teleprompter,” Mann said of one risk assessment agent who came to his home. “I’m standing in 2 feet of water. The last thing I want to hear is that they’re not going to pay. I don’t want to hear that. Where’s the humanity? Where’s the compassion?”

The City of Odessa is protected from having to pay for water damage from an incidental burst water main under a statute in the Texas Civil Practices and Remedies Code. Wells said, however, that immunity doesn’t mean the city won’t help the affected homeowners.

“I can understand how they feel if my house were under water,” Wells continued. “We (city officials) are always in a situation where we have to balance our concern and sensitivity to homeowners with recognition to our judicial responsibility to folks that pay taxes.”

“Bottom line is that it doesn’t mean expenditures can’t be made, but we’re supposed to, by law, take great care of decisions in spending tax money,” Wells added.

Another water main broke near San Jacinto Street in 2003, but Wells said each flood situation is different in approach.

Utilities director Matt Irvin said the pipe will be re-evaluated for full replacement. The next phase of the replacement projects will begin construction in September near East Loop 338 and downtown Odessa, Assistant City Engineer Yervand Hmayakyan said. The projects are expected to be complete in 2013, Hmayakyan said.

Mann, who has lived in his home since 2000, said the 2003 flood did not affect his home, but the house did have flood damage before he bought it. Mann and his family are in the process of selling their home to move to Midland. The buyers are still interested in owning the home, Mann said.

Mann’s insurance, Allstate, does not cover flood damage caused by water mains outside the homeowner’s property. Mann said neither he nor his wife have been able to talk directly with their insurance agent.

While Mann starts repairing his home and yard for the new home owners, he said that he has hired an attorney to “see what the options are.”

“I want this resolved. I want to make it right for everyone,” Mann said. “Everybody needs to do the right thing and get it taken care of.”

No comments:

Post a Comment