LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - A crash in central Lubbock last month has left nearly 70 apartments without hot water and gas, and the tenants affected are fed up. NewsChannel 11 Investigator Nicole Pesecky went to the Waterford Apartments to get answers from management.
Imagine going without hot water or heat for an entire month! Well, that's exactly what dozens of tenants at the Waterford Place Apartments off Slide have to deal with. They claim management isn't doing enough to solve the problem, but management tells us they are doing everything they can.
On September 20th, 2009, six buildings were affected after a driver lost control of his car, running into the side of building three. During the crash, he took out the gas line.
Natasha Baker is affected by the crash, she now doesn't have hot water or gas and says, "The driver knocked out our hot water and heating. So they got an inspector out saying the pipes weren't good and they had to put in new pipes."
One month later not much has changed and tenants want answers. Tenant Dan Ruther says, "We've been out of gas. The plumbers come out and work every day and every day it's a new problem."
Baker is a mother of three and says for over three weeks now she's been packing up her family and heading to her brother's to bathe. "We got kids to take care of - it's ridiculous! We're paying rent for something and we can't even use our own apartment to shower in," Baker explains.
Management did offer a solution to the hot water ordeal, but tenants say it's at the convenience of the staff and not the Waterford tenants. "They offered an empty apartment, but that's only 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and we come home at 5 o'clock and want to shower and it's not available," Ruther explains.
Management didn't want to go on camera, but did answer our questions by phone. The assistant manager told us they will start giving out a key overnight so that a shower is available at all times.
As for the gas problem, we're told only three of the six buildings still don't have it. While management continues to do all they can to find solutions, these tenants believe the solution is to relocate. "Find another apartment, move out, find somewhere else to stay," says Baker.
But getting out of their lease isn't an option according to the assistant manager at Waterford. She says if they leave they will have to pay out the lease.
Management did issue a statement which reads, "I assure the public there was quick action to start replacing the gas lines. We had no idea the full extent of the damage that had been caused, but we have had Ricky Boyce plumbing working diligently on our gas line issues since the day that it happened."
They go on to state, "We have bought space heaters for families to accommodate their needs on cold days. Local agencies have been contacted to help provide for families with special needs. They also say a concession will be given to the residents who have been affected by this accident once gas is restored.
We called the plumping company and they say they're on schedule to wrap up their work at Waterford by the end of the week.
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