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Investigator Exclusive: Angry flood victim latest to criticize Cleveland water department

9:59 AM, Jan 11, 2011   |    comments
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"My walls were torn out. The floors were torn up. My bathtub had raw sewage," Pembroke said.

Not to worry. Pembroke says the city promised to repair the damage in three months. But it's been more than six months, and Pembroke says the city hasn't done anything.

"They assured me they were going to do right by me and that they would return my house in the condition it was before it was flooded. They've done nothing," Pembroke said.

But the city water department says that when Pembroke involved a lawyer, things got messy.

Pembroke snapped back, "They weren't doing anything before I got an attorney."

Pembroke, a retired Ceveland school teacher, says she spent $30,000 of her own money repairing her home and on hotels she was forced to live in for two months because her home wasn't liveable.

The good news is that, after Channel 3 News Investigator Tom Meyer got involved, the city scheduled a meeting with Pembroke's attorney and settlment talks were underway.

Cleveland City Councilman Mike Polensek says it's another example of terrible customer service at the water department.  Polensek cites a $31 million billing system that he says fails to properly issue bills.

"We're spending millions of dollars on this new technology and it's not working," Polensek said.

Polensek thinks it's outageous that the cash-strapped city had nearly $77 million in delinquent bills as of last October.

As for Evelyn Pembroke, she was hoping the two sides would reach a settlment this week, more than six months from the time of the water main break.   

WKYC-TV

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