City of Houston explains why it took so long to fill massive hole in Missouri City family's backyard

HOUSTON

A water main broke beneath Evans' backyard on October 21. Even though she lives in Missouri City, the pipe belongs to the City of Houston. Houston crews closed the water main leak the next day. But Evans says they dug up and broke electric cables in the process and wanted to fill in the hole without fixing the problems. She had spotty electrical issues and her neighbor lost power in half her house. Evans told us, "Every day I woke up - who from the city do I have to call now?"

Still the City of Houston wasn't responding. Evans told us, "It was just frustrating. I finally told them the faster you fix it, the faster you can get away from me."

On November 15th, we went to see the hole. It was massive -- 8 feet around, 4 feet deep. It was full of mud, mosquitoes and those broken cables. A pile of dirt was piled high in the backyard.

After our visit to Evan's home, Oren Smith with the City of Houston's Public Works & Engineering department told us, "Our normal practice is to satisfy the homeowner and avoid these type of situations."

But the city never fixed the problem. Until last Friday, December 6. It took 6 and a half weeks.

Ted Oberg asked Evans, "Is this the way it's supposed to work?"

"No," Evans told us, "They just don't listen to the customer."

Tonight it's all filled in and the City sent us this lengthy statement: ""The City of Houston Public Works Department completed its waterline repair within one day, but the homeowner requested electrical repair work to replace a cable she believed to have been damaged during excavation. This additional work required scheduling through private utility companies. Rainfall and the Thanksgiving holiday created schedule delays for the electrical contractor, but their repair was completed on December 5th, with additional restoration activities (such as sod and fencing) completed by Public Works the following afternoon. We apologize for the inconvenience and unexpected delays, but are pleased that the customer is very satisfied with the end result."

Find Ted on Facebook at ABC13TedOberg or on Twitter at @tedoberg

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