• Woman unable to return to home more than 2 weeks after it flooded with sewage

    By: Jason Kelly , Melonie Holt


    BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. - A woman who lives in the Port St. John neighborhood said she has not been able to return to her home since it was flooded by a county sewer line last month.

    On July 23 and 24, sewage seeped up through a drain, flooding Jalaine Spears' Palm Street home, where she has lived for 30 years.

    "The sewage came up through this drain all the way through the house," she said. "It just kept coming."

    Spears said she pumped out as much of the sewage as she could before calling Roto-Rooter Plumbing & Drain Service, whose plumber detected a blockage in a Brevard County sewer line more than 100 feet from her home.

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    "I called the city who then called the county who sent out trucks, and they blasted away the blockage," she said. "When they blasted away the blockage, it went through the entire house all the way through here, down the hallway. See where all the wall boards are gone?"

    Spears said she contacted her insurer, who capped her payout at less than half the estimated cost to complete the remediation and repairs at her home.

    She said she received a phone call Thursday from the county's third-party claims administrator, who said that the county wasn't liable for the damage, because the blockage was caused when AT&T drilled through the county's sewer line.

    The county told Channel 9 on Friday that its third-party claims administrator was still in the process of obtaining loss information and is making a liability determination.

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    Channel 9's Melonie Holt called Preferred Governmental Claim Solutions for clarification, but she was told the company doesn't comment on open claims before she was hung up on.

    "I just want my house put back together," Spears said. "I want someone to take responsibility."

    AT&T said it is still working on a response to Holt's questions.

    Nationwide, Spears' insurer, said that although it doesn't comment on specific claims, it "adjusts them on a case-by-case basis, considering all the facts and the policy in force at the time of the incident, and we strive to adjust claims in a timely manner. We will continue to work directly with our member to resolve this situation."

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