RICHARDSON, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – Hung out to dry.
It’s how some Richardson residents feel after their homes flooded two weeks ago.
On Thursday, looking for answers, they went to a special board meeting hosted by the North Texas Municipal Water District.
“My house was ground zero,” Ken Hutchenrider said. “The sight I saw I hope to never see again. Our entire first floor is gone.”
Hutchenrider described a 72-inch pipeline rupturing in front of his home off Crystal Mountain Drive, sending water rushing inside.
He said he’s one of more than a dozen homeowners left with hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of damage.
“I’m going to guess somewhere in the neighborhood of $300,000 plus,” he said.
He said his home insurance company, Travelers Insurance, has agreed to cover the damage, but that hasn’t been the case for others.
“We have been under extreme stress for the last 15 days,” Monis Zaidi said.
Zaidi is just one of the many of the affected homeowners who attended the meeting. He said he was hoping that since their home insurance companies won’t cover the damage, the water district would.
“There is no basis for governmental liability here,” Bill Helfand, an attorney working for the NTMWD said.
He told the crowd under the Texas Tort Claims Act the water district, as a public entity, cannot use public funds to pay private claims.
“There really isn’t anything home owners could have purchased or prepared for in this situation and the cause resides exclusively and entirely with Richardson or the North Texas Municipal Water District,” Insurance Solutions Group’s Tom Neidhart said.
“I would ask the board to not look at how to avoid assisting the families that were affected but how we can move forward and assist them in what ever way is possible,”
Pamela Thompson, a daughter of flood victim Sylvester Lee said.
After the meeting, a lot of homeowners said they’re not getting the answers they were looking for. On top of that, they said they still want to know how the water district is working to make sure a pipe doesn’t rupture doesn’t happen again in their neighborhood.