LIFE HAS BEEN AWFUL: Raw sewage floods Richmond family's home


A Richmond family called NBC12 for help after raw sewage flooded their home! City crews allegedly repaired the clogged line, but now the family is pleading with the city to pay for the cleanup.

"Within 40 minutes this entire area was covered in this black water sewage," said Dale Herndon who lives in the Wyandotte Drive home. "And it's still here. This isn't going anywhere. This isn't going to fix itself."

Herndon says his 5-year-old son's room was flooded with raw sewage.

"His toys," said Herndon. "His entire room is destroyed."

It's the same story in countless other areas throughout the house.

"Life has been awful," said Paige Lincoln. "And we are going broke in the process. All the workers that were out here that evening were apologizing....saying: we are so sorry. We are going to fix it. The city is going to fix it."

This happened 7 days ago. The family says the city has agreed to pay for structural improvements, but Herndon says the city also wants him to also pay for some of the cleanup.

"They want us to remove the furniture and all of his belongings that are covered in this biohazard," said Herndon. "And we are not trained to do that. We are not equipped to do that. How are we responsible for a city pipe to clean up this property?"

According to an estimate, that removal process could cost at least $2,000. The family gave NBC12 audio of a phone conversation between the landlord and the city crews on the scene at the time of the incident.

"It's definitely something that was on the city side and not on my side, right?" questioned the landlord.

"Yes. The main line…was choked," replied the city foreman. "At this point, we haven't seen anything indicating that this was coming from private property."

That led us straight to the Department of Public Utilities. What's the protocol here?

"If it is a city issue then we would of course clear the line," said Angela Fountain with DPU. "And we would be responsible for any cleanup that is involved."

Herndon has one request of the city.

"Fix this. They have to clean this up," said Herndon. "It's a hazard for our family. We are displaced because of this. We can't live up stairs because the smell has entrenched the entire house."

Stay with NBC12 for updates on this developing story.

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