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Local Woman's Home Flooded In Raw Sewage, NBC 5 Responds

A woman in North Texas said her home was flooded in raw sewage after a city sewage line was backed up

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    Local Woman's Home Flooded In Raw Sewage, NBC 5 Responds

    A woman in North Texas said her home was flooded in raw sewage after a city sewage line was backed up. She said the city denied her damage claim, so she called NBC 5's Samantha Chatman (Published Friday, March 15, 2019)

    Imagine coming home after a long day of work to raw sewage water in your flowerbed. 

    Erin Jackson, a local judge, said her nose tipped her off to the problem.

    "It smelled like poop," she said.

    As she walked through her home, she was even more disgusted.

    Raw sewage from her neighborhood made its way inside her home.

    Jackson said she called a plumber and the City of Kennedale.

    When they arrived, she said she learned one of the city's sewage lines was backed up, and since her house is on the end of the sewage line, it all streamed her way.

    "The city finds the clog. They start to clear the clog. When the city started to clear the clog, all you hear is rushing water. Water is coming out of all the toilets. And it is rushing and I start screaming," she said. "There was just poop water all over."

    When it was all said and done, she said her home was ruined.

    "All of the wood in the whole house has to go. All of the baseboards have to be replaced, the master shower and quite frankly, I am never sitting in the bathtub. There's not enough bleach that will get me to sit in that bathtub again," said Jackson.

    Erin said the cleanup and repairs came out to roughly $60,000.

    "The city is not going to pay for this. They say that I have to pay for it," she explained.

    Jackson said city officials told her they weren't paying for anything because the sewage backup was caused by her surrounding neighbors, not the city.

    So her claim was denied.

    "I absolutely had nothing to do with it," she said. "The city has an obligation to maintain the lines and the simple fact is if the city was maintaining the lines, this wouldn't have happened. It's their responsibility."

    Jackson does have a city water policy on her insurance, but she said that'll only cover $10,000, leaving her to somehow come up with $50,000.

    She called me in to have her back and hold the City of Kennedale accountable.

    When I reached out, the city manager responded.

    In a written statement, he said, "Unless the city caused the backup, it is not likely liable or required to cover any damages caused by such a backup. Nonetheless the city may offer to cover, at least in part, the direct cleanup cost associated with the backup into the resident's home and yard. We continue to work with the owner to resolve the issue."

    But Jackson said the cleanup is just a small fraction of the overall cost and believes if the city had been managing its sewage lines to begin with, this nasty incident would have never happened.

    "I was literally pooped on, I had a poop crisis and I'm being treated like poop," she said.

    Jackson said the city did send someone out to take pictures, but said that individual did not examine her floors or take any measurements.

    She said if the city is only willing to cover the bare minimum, she will take legal action.

    Meanwhile, Jackson has hired contractors to make her house a home again.

    But deep down, she feels it will never be the same.

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