Water causes a stink at local apartment

December 15, 2008 2:54:30 PM PST
Some Durham residents are cleaning smelly water from inside their apartments.

Tenants at the Presidential Apartments located alongside I-85, say they have been trying to get help from their landlords but were ignored.

"I want somebody to see this so they won't think I'm exaggerating," resident Yolanda Civers told Eyewitness News.

Brown water fills Civers' apartment wall-to-wall -- from the bedroom to the hallway. Water is even coming out of the bathtub drain.

"You could smell it," she explained. "The bathtubs are up to here in sewer water. You can't flush the commodes, can't take a shower."

Civers told Eyewitness News the water rose above her ankles at one point. She and her family had to wear boots to protect their feet.

Ernestine Williams, Civers' neighbor, is also experiencing problems.

"The water was coming out of this commode," Williams said. "As you can see, you can't use the commode, but you can't flush and you know what's in the commode."

Williams is using towels to suck up the smelly water. She said the odor is so bad it's going to make her sick.

Williams has lived in the apartment 15 years and can't afford to move. She is afraid of what the fumes could do to her heart condition.

Another neighbor, Anthony Floyd, plans to move out, but he wants to know why it's taken three days to try and fix the problem.

"I have two young children," Floyd explained. "The fumes coming up, the toxins -- I don't know what's going on, but something's got to be done."

The property's owners say they plan to fix the problem. They sent maintenance to vacuum some of the water Monday, and they plan to have all of the carpets cleaned.

Those efforts are too little too late for the fed up tenants who say the damage is all ready done.

Management issued a letter saying heavy rain was to blame. But when Eyewitness News confronted them, they said the Department of Transportation destroyed a pipe over the weekend, which caused the water to flood the units.

Eyewitness News also contacted the DOT which said it did not have any crews working in that area over the weekend.


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