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Aberdeen Residents Clean After Sewer Back Up

August 18, 2014, 6:41 PM by Erich Schaffhauser

Aberdeen Residents Clean After Sewer Back Up
ABERDEEN, SD -

It's another day of clean-up in Aberdeen after a weekend water main break caused sewer to back up into dozens of homes.

That waterline broke under an intersection in the southeast part of town. As water gushed from the broken pipe, part of the sanitary sewer system around it gave way. The water then rushed into the sewer line and pushed back into homes.

Still surveying damage, Jill Trego says she lost almost everything in her basement.

"There's no words to explain it," Trego said. "It's just a mess."

When she woke Sunday, she grabbed her camera and started taking pictures and videos to document the damage for her insurance company. Trego’s daughter has asthma, so she can't stay in the home until it's properly cleaned.

Trego lives in a townhome that’s part of an Aberdeen Housing Authority complex. Her neighbors, Jeremy Graham and Katrina Coe, are adding up their losses, too. They're not alone.

"It's sad. I mean stuff that people had for years and didn't think something like this could happen," Coe said.

The city has heard from some people who suffered property damage, but there are no final figures yet. The affected area could cover 20 square blocks.

City crews will be in those neighborhoods to haul away damaged property Tuesday afternoon. They ask people to bring items to the boulevard.

Assistant city engineer Stuart Nelson says he isn’t sure if people will receive financial help from the city. Officials are working with the insurance company.

"Really it's too early to tell. We'll know more probably a little later this week," Nelson said.

That's also when the city expects to receive the parts needed to repair its damaged system. That system is running on its own, but officials have set up backup pumps in case something goes wrong again before it's fully fixed.

Meanwhile, residents are hoping the damage that's already been done is the end of it.

"We live paycheck to paycheck so it takes a little while to acquire everything,” Graham said, “And everything to be taken away in just one day, it's pretty heart breaking.”

He's expecting a cleaning crew Tuesday but says he isn't sure how long it will be before life returns to normal.

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