Busted sewer line plagues Port Allen homeowners

Source: WAFB
Source: WAFB
Source: WAFB
Source: WAFB

PORT ALLEN, LA (WAFB) - A project to replace old water lines in Port Allen has turned into a nightmare for some homeowners.

Some of them said they woke up to find raw sewage coming from their floors, tubs, and toilets.

Since last Thursday, some people who live along Maryland Street and Georgia Street have had a front row seat to a construction zone. Thelma Ransom said she is sick of looking at it.

"This is terrible back here. We have children back here," Ransom said.

Her neighbor, Jennie Green said she learned first-hand of the potential danger when she drove into her driveway.
"When I pulled in, my front end went down in the hole to the bumper," Green said. 

But homeowners said their problems go far beyond what you see at their curbsides. Clerice Lacy showed 9News pictures of what appears to be raw sewerage in her tub, toilet and floor tiles.

"All you want to do after a long day at work is come home, relax, take a bath. That's all you want to do, and I wasn't able to do that," Lacy said.

Homeowners said they never saw it coming. "No one told us anything about a construction program," Ransom said.

City leaders said they hired Grady-Crawford Construction to replace an old water line on the two streets. A spokesman for that company told 9News the city did not mark the digging locations correctly and, because of that, a sub-contractor accidentally hit the sewer line.

"Everybody is passing the buck. So, I can't determine whose responsibility it is. The only thing I know is someone is responsible," Lacy said.

Mayor Richard Lee III said the contractor did not know the depth of the sewer lines and hit three of them, which ultimately caused the mess. He said it was also the contractor's job to notify homeowners that they would be working in their front yards. Regardless, Lee said he is sorry for what happened.

"I apologize for what has transpired. It's basically my responsibly to make sure everything is being taken care of but we are doing whatever we can to take care of the problem and the situation," Lee said.

The mayor said the project should be finished in the next three weeks.

A spokesman for Grady-Crawford told 9News the company is hiring a professional cleaning service to clean the houses impacted by the busted lines.

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