It’s been two weeks now since this saga started.
We’ve had several rounds of communication with the city of Winsted. They are still stating that they believe that they did everything that was reasonable and that they were not negligent. At this point, it’s just our word against theirs. The Public Works director says that it was reasonable to assume that the amount of water that was coming in the basement was from the feeder line on our property and he was told that the city shut off the water as fast as they could after they were made aware that the 3/4 inch line was not the problem and that they only turned the water back on long enough to find the break.
We have some disagreement with his assessment. The amount of water in the basement that was observed on the night that it occurred could have reasonably been assumed to be from a smaller feeder line given the assumption that the line broke inside the house with nothing hindering the flow. That wasn’t the case for our house. There was that much water coming in to the house through the floor. So, it was significantly hindered. A decent city engineer should have recognized that.
We know that the excavators told the city workers right away in the morning that there was no way that much water was coming from a line on our property. The city workers did nothing until late afternoon that day. And then it took them until 10pm that night to shut it off.
Without hiring a lawyer, we wont be able to move forward with this. Joyce’s son in law, who works for the city of Eagan as the Transportation Engineer, did some research and advised us not to get a lawyer unless the damages were more than $10,000. In the past two years, we’ve lost more than that, but this incident didn’t reach that amount.
We sent a letter to our bank tonight explaining the situation, detailing all that we’ve lost over the past two years and explaining the unlikelihood of being able to sell the house and asked to be able to hand the deed back over to them. We’re not sure how painful this process will be going forward, but we know this is the right decision. One bit of good news is that we will not have to pay for the excavating of the yard. That would have probably been a pretty big bill. So, that was great news!