A family can’t go back homes for months because there is raw sewage inside. A mistake by Citizens Energy Group has now forced the family to scramble and try to find a new place to live.
“I opened up the bathroom door and the water was literally pulsating, coming up and coming down and splashing,” said homeowner Nikki McElhone.
Brown water, shooting up through her toilets.
“With such force it was actually hitting the ceiling,” said McElhone.
Nikki McElhone said it was one of the worst things that had ever happened to her. Crews, cleaning out a sewer line, used too much pressure.
“As we understand it, water was applied to the sewer, then that water actually backed up into the lateral, which backed up into the home,” said Sarah Holsapple with Citizens Energy Group.
It was not just in the bathrooms either. The sewer water seeped through the floor, and into the playroom.
“I did not know it hit the basement right away,” said McElhone.
The house has been cleaned once, but McElhone said it still stinks.
“The chemical they use, and just sewer water,” said McElhone.
Citizens Energy Group said it was their fault. They said they would do what it takes to make it right, but three weeks later, the McElhone family was still staying in a hotel.
“State Farm at this point is getting hard to handle,” said McElhone. “They are telling me one thing, then they tell me I have to do something else. Then they switch it and say, ‘No.’ They give me deadlines. Nobody even seems to care.”
Nikki and her husband Bryan have five children. All five were premies, with delicate immune systems. Two of those kids have special needs. The children went from having their own personalized rooms, to doubling up at the hotel with very little personal space.
“We cannot live like that,” said McElhone. “We go from 3,600 plus square feet into literally less than 500 square feet, with five kids.”
Nikki said she wants her family to be back in their house in the worst way, but it has to be safe enough first.
“For some reason my kids are very, very sensitive to all this stuff, now someone else has put it in my house,” said McElhone. “It is my home and somebody was able to go and blow it through the toilets and possibly get my family sick again.”
Citizen’s Energy Group said what happened to McElhone’s is rare. It occurs at the most four times a year. As for the family, they were being told it will be at least another five weeks before they can move back into their house. They have to be out of their hotel by April 30.