'Devastating': Michigan City Home Damaged By Sewage Backup

Mike Krauser
June 05, 2020 - 1:11 pm
A Michigan City homeowner says the damage caused by a city crew cleaning out the sewer lines outside her home is “devastating,” and will cost tens of thousands of dollars for repairs and lost rental income.

Provided by Terry Murray

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CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) --  A Michigan City homeowner said the damage caused by a city crew cleaning out the sewer lines outside her home is “devastating,” and will cost tens of thousands of dollars for repairs and lost rental income.

The homeowner, Terri Murray said that crews were working outside and she heard gurgling coming from a bathroom. She said the toilet water was black.

“I immediately went out, I talked to the guys, you know, ‘is this normal?’ They said ‘try flushing the toilet, see if it goes down.’ By the time I came back I could hear this rush of water.  The toilet was overflowing, sewage and water rushing out all over the floors, all over the main area of the house, into the basement," she said.

She ran outside.   

“I may have used some expletives and I yelled at them to shut down whatever they were doing, that they were flooding my house," Murray said.

A Michigan City homeowner said the damage caused by a city crew cleaning out the sewer lines outside her home is “devastating,” and will cost tens of thousands of dollars for repairs and lost rental income.
Provided by Terri Murray

The city called in a commercial cleaning company. 

Murray was told it would be a big project, ripping out everything down to the floor joists, including hardwood, tile, subfloor, baseboards and drywall.

It got in the vents and furnace, too.  

“The Service Pro man gave me his best estimate and he said it was months.  The damage to the house is devastating," Murray said.

A Michigan City homeowner said the damage caused by a city crew cleaning out the sewer lines outside her home is “devastating,” and will cost tens of thousands of dollars for repairs and lost rental income.
Provided by Terri Murray

The city told her it would make things right.

The Sanitary District Superintendent told WBBM Newsradio that he believes a contractor doing unauthorized work at a neighbor’s home is partly to blame for sending debris into the sewer line.   

The incident happened on Wednesday. On Thursday, the crew was digging up Murray’s front yard. 

Repairs and lost rental income could cost more than $50,000.