The Town of Paradise said it may pay for damage caused by a water surge Wednesday afternoon.
Denise Murrin stands in the front hall of her condo on Neil’s Pond in Paradise Thursday. A water surge caused extensive flooding in the area, damaging her home. — Photo by Joe Gibbons/The Telegram
“If, based on the recommendations of our insurance company, and they say we’re liable we’ll pay for it, yeah,” town manager Rodney Cumby said.
At least half a dozen homes on Topsail Road have been affected by a spike in water pressure that caused flooding.
The town is investigating what happened and should know more in a few days.
It’s asking people to contact their insurance companies.
The Telegram spoke with Denise Murrin right after her insurance adjustor left her condo on Neil’s Pond.
He estimated there was a minimum of $10,000 worth of damage done — and that was before he saw her kitchen.
The pressure didn’t cause her water boiler to blow, but the one in the upstairs condo did.
She came home to water all over her floor in her hallways, bathroom and kitchen.
“Everything came pouring down,” she said.
Her ceilings are stained with water. The baseboards are separated from the walls.
Her hardwood floor is warped by water damage.
“This whole ceiling has to come down,” she said. “There’s moisture everywhere.”
She said she had just done $30,000 in renovations.
Across the street, water shot about 10 or 15 feet across Nolan Osmond’s basement.
“It was pretty forceful,” he said.
“If, based on the recommendations of our insurance company, and they say we’re liable we’ll pay for it, yeah.” Town manager Rodney Cumby
His home’s pressure release valve, which reduces pressure from the main water line, couldn’t stop it.
He said had to soak up three Shop Vacs full of water.
His basement is unfinished, so the water didn’t have a chance to do much damage.
The surge happened on Topsail Road at between 3 p.m. and 3:15 Wednesday.
So-called “water hammer” occurred while crews were fixing a water main break. This involved shutting off the water supply.
“It sent a pressure wave back through the system,” explained Ron Fleming, director of public works and engineering for Paradise.
Fleming said the risk of a surge is not normally taken into consideration when crews do this kind of work. A variety of factors cause surges and there was no history of it happening in the area.
“It’s almost like a perfect storm.” he said. “A series of things have to come together for that to happen.”
The town didn’t know anyone was affected until the calls came in. There was no damage anywhere else.
Fleming noted homeowners are required to have pressure release valves to mitigate the effect of surges.