Michigan family forced from home by sewage flood - WNEM TV 5

Michigan family forced from home by sewage flood

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CBS -

Gallons of raw sewage spilled into the home of a Michigan family after Public Works officials say a clogged sewer line burst and turned their downstairs bathroom into a sewage fountain.

Bob Sherman’s house looks normal from the outside, but as you get closer a faint smell of sewage starts to set in.

“I can tell you it's a hundred times worse when you're inside,” Sherman said.

The family was forced to evacuate after their house was flooded with raw sewage and the basement was filled with everything that is flushed and expected to no be seen again.

“I don't suggest staying down here very long,” Sherman said.

The smell is hard to tolerate, but Sherman's mind is on all of his belongings that are ruined after floating in five inches of raw sewage.

"It’s really kind of tough on me right now to tell you the truth,” he said.

This sewage leak wasn't his fault.

Otsego city leaders said the sewer line running under several streets in this neighborhood was clogged twice on Tuesday with unflushable material sent down the drain by neighbors.

"According to the people that are going to do the reclamation work it's going to be about an $8,000 bill for that,” Sherman said.

Otsego Public Works Superintendent Mike Bosch said his team had to call for outside help when their equipment couldn't break through the blockage.

“With the force that was coming from the original blockage, just jammed in there so tight ours couldn't do it,” Bosch said.

"This is kind of a rarity because Mike and the guys do such a good job of cleaning out the pipes on a regular basis,” said Otsego City Manager Aaron Mitchell.

Sherman's insurance won't cover the damage. The city filed a claim, but Sherman would have to prove they are liable to get a payout.

"What's done is done. I can't really make a change. Do I wish they had cleared it up quicker? Yes. I probably wouldn't have as much damage as I have right now,” Sherman said.

“Unfortunate for them, neighbors were using stuff they shouldn't have been flushing,” Bosch said.

Ostego city leaders are describing the incident as freak accident and said the sewage pipes in this area are routinely inspected and cleaned.

They warn people about flushing items down the toilet that don't dissolve, like diapers and tampons.

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