SHELBY COUNTY, Ala. (WIAT) — CBS 42 is Your Voice Your Station. We’re working to get more answers for families who said they don’t have running water at an apartment complex in Shelby County.
Neighbors we spoke to at the Abbey at Inverness said their water went out on Thursday around noon and has not yet been restored. The complex reports a broken pipe on the property as the culprit.
The Abbey Residential Services Regional Vice President Katie Tillman said there are 801 properties at the Abbey at Inverness and most homes are impacted with little water pressure or no water at all.
Residents who said messaging about the problem has not been clear are fed up with the situation.
“You don’t know how important water is until you don’t have any for a few days,” Stuart Watson said. “I guess if it’s a problem that’s why y’all are here, but for me I would have liked to have had known that somebody would have cared about me enough to call us and fix a plan. Not to get to this point.”
Over the phone, Tillman said crews found an underground water line protected by concrete that had been flooding and collapsed. This then caused the ground to become unstable and crews unable to safely locate and access it.
“My biggest frustration was the lack of communication,” Cyndy Gurley said. “I don’t feel like they were fully honest with the communication.”
A feeling shared by both families. Cyndy Gurley has been hauling buckets of water from the clubhouse to flush her toilets.
“I’m taking buckets, big gallon buckets, pouring the water in myself and flushing it,” Gurley said.
Both families say the complex is typically good at returning maintenance calls and sending notifications, but they have hardly gotten any information without being persistent. They say although communication from the complex said they were working hard, they did not see crews working down at the site.
“If you can’t get the manpower out here because of the holidays then communicate that to us,” Gurley said.
Tillman said the complex realized lifting the concrete required a crane and they say they could not locate one because of the holiday.
“If it’s something that serious and you’re talking about lives, you’re talking about health I think that trumps a holiday,” Watson said.
Now on day five – the complex just added portable restrooms. The complex is not charging any rent until water is restored.
“I just feel like if we didn’t take these steps to do this, they wouldn’t have done anything,” Gurley said.
Gurley said she has lived at the complex for three years. Watson has lived there about eight. Neither family plans to stay once their leases end.
These families are asking for better communication moving forward with more help.
Tillman was hopeful to have water restored by the end of the day on Monday, but we have not received confirmation from residents impacted of that happening. If you have been impacted, you are encouraged to reach out to your renter’s insurance for how you can get reimbursed.
The Abbey at Inverness is working with Shelby County EMA and the Shelby County Health Department to get the problem restored, according to Tillman.