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A call for help from a Grand Haven woman who says a city contractor broke an underground water pipe flooding her basement. | News

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A call for help from a Grand Haven woman who says a city contractor broke an underground water pipe flooding her basement.
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GRAND HAVEN, Mich. (WZZM) -- A call for help from a Grand Haven woman who says a city contractor broke an underground water pipe flooding her basement. When no one was taking responsibility, she called the WZZM 13 Watchdog team for help.

"It was seeping all around you can see right here," Liberty Abraham said as she described water leaking into her basement.

It's a tour of the basement Abraham would rather not be giving to WZZM 13, but she feels the need to speak out about what happened and who she says caused it.

"I'm very frustrated,"says Abraham. "The city said they had contracted the company, Vanguard, to change out the water meters."

Abraham says the Kentucky-based company broke a water pipe during the process.

"Left to leak for the next 12 hours beneath the house," says Abraham.

She and her husband missed work to clean-up and then paid $2,100 for repairs.

"I would at least like to see the repair paid for," says Abraham.

However, after contacting the city she received from Vanguard denying her damage claim. The company explained that the installation did not cause the pipe to break.

"We have tried to contact this company numerous times since April with no response. I mean, who does that? That is not customer service," says Abraham.

Her husband also snapped a photo that showed wire exposed on the water meter.

In an email to the Abraham's, Grand Haven's city manager, Pat McGinnis acknowledged it was a "sloppy" way to leave the house and that it didn't meet the city's standards of service.

However, McGinnis also said the pipe likely broke when the contractors were turning the water off and on and he blamed the old pipes not the installation.

"Duh, yeah they are old pipes it's a house from the 1940's, the house is well cared for, but yes the pipes are old and it's not something that you can just go in and torque on and anybody with any kind of expertise or experience in changing out a water meter certainly ought to know that," says Abraham.

Abraham hops the city will learn a lesson the next time they hire a contractor.

WZZM 13 tried to get a response from Vanguard, but our phone call was not returned.

The city's public works director says Vanguard is working on 5,500 homes through the end of August. He says he's had overwhelmingly positive feedback about the company.


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