Liberty homeowner claims damage from water tank project
By Patrick Cloonan
Published: Sunday, June 23, 2013, 10:50 p.m.
A Liberty resident said her home has been overhauled since it was damaged by water from a nearby utility storage tank.
Disaster Restoration Services “has been really great,” Marcy Cendroski said, referring to the company sent in by Travelers Insurance after her home was damaged last month.
“They had to tear up the carpeting in the bathroom,” Cendroski said last week. “They had to seal the walls in the bathroom, and they sealed all the walls in the garage and they repaired our retaining wall at the side of our house.”
There have been other repairs and “we haven't seen a bill, which is good,” Cendroski said.
She isn't as pleased with Pennsylvania-American Water Co., maintaining that the utility did not give her or other residents along Jeffrey Drive proper notice about the overhaul of the 560,000-gallon tank.
“On May 17, they started draining the tank,” Cendroski said. “We were notified May 22 with a flier in our door.”
A utility spokeswoman maintained that there was proper notice before contractors began the overhaul that includes sandblasting and repainting the tank — work that followed its draining.
“From my understanding, the contractors began on a Monday,” Josephine Posti said. “The letters were hand delivered the Friday before the contractor began the work.”
She also said she has talked to Solicitor George Gobel, who said at Wednesday's Liberty council meeting that he would file a complaint with the state Public Utility Commission.
“The only concern he has indicated is this one particular customer that our insurance company is dealing with directly,” Posti said.
She said another customer also reported having water come into their property, “and Disaster Restoration Services took care of it.”
Cendroski and her husband Jerry said they spoke at Wednesday's meeting. She said other neighbors were there who did not speak about the water but agreed with what the Cendroskis said.
Marcy Cendroski said on Friday that she had trouble convincing Pennsylvania-American Water of a problem.
“Their call center is in the state of Indiana,” Cendroski said. “When I told them the water was gushing everywhere, she said she did not consider it an emergency because it was a planned procedure and she would not send a crew out.”
An hour later, when Cendroski called again, a crew was sent out.
“They came up and said our swimming pool was leaking and our neighbor's and another neighbor's,” Cendroski said.
Posti said she was not aware of those calls.
Cendroski said she called the utility again the next day “and they said it was definitely from the water tower because when they emptied it, all they did was throw a short fire hose over the hill.”
The Liberty resident suggested a longer hose could have put the water into a culvert “which eventually would flow into the river.” She also said, “We have been advised to get our foundation checked to see if there is damage.”
The restoration work continues at the storage tank. Posti said residents who experience problems during that work can call the water company at 800-565-7292.
Patrick Cloonan is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-664-9161, ext. 1967, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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