Standing water in the Chadwicks' backyard (Source: Brad Chadwick)
Damage to the family room floor (Source: Andrea Chadwick)
Cracks like these can be found between dozens of bricks around the house (Source: KFDA)
The wall in the master bedroom is cracking as that corner of the house has sunk a few inches as a result of foundation damage (Source: KFDA)
AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) -
Despite the City of Amarillo reporting that no houses were damaged from recent water main breaks, some Amarillo families beg to differ.
Like the Chadwicks who live in southwest Amarillo.
When Brad and Andrea Chadwick heard water running under their bedroom floor one night earlier this month, they knew something was wrong.
They don't have any pipes that run through that room.
That's when they went outside to discover a water main had busted in the alley behind their house.
This was one of 25 water mains that busted in one week earlier this month.
The city wasted no time in handling the problem, but not before the Chadwicks' backyard was flooded with several inches of standing water.
"We looked over the fence and there was water everywhere," said Andrea Chadwick. "It was all the way out to the street and the only source we could think of was that water main behind the house."
Overnight that water slowly seeped into the house, stained the floors and cracked the walls and molding.
One corner of the house is sinking because the foundation dropped several inches.
"The foundation dropped and when it did, because we have a brick house, the bricks have separated and there's enough space between them that you can't just leave that," said Chadwick.
The Chadwicks are looking at a minimum of $17,000 in damages the insurance company won't cover.
And the city waives liability on water main break damages.
The family wants to know why it's taken damage to their house to finally get decades old pipes repaired.
"The really sad part is that we have all that damage and they've repaired the piece of the pipe that was broken, but if a foot down the line it breaks again, we're out again," said Chadwick. "If we don't fix those pipes and do really take care of what we need to then this will happen to more people."
The Chadwicks said at least two of their neighbors had similar flooding caused by that same water main break.
A lack of funding has kept the city from replacing these pipes in the past.
"We need to prioritize our money in a way that we do what needs to be done before what's nice to be done," Chadwick said of city spending.
But now they're looking at a five-year, $160 million capital improvement project to help with infrastructure upgrades that would include replacing hundreds of city pipes.