HOUSTON On Friday, nearly 24 hours after sewage rained in through the drains and toilets in the Nuno family s home, the unthinkable mess remained.
The family couldn t even stay in the home for longer than an hour because of the stench.
Thursday afternoon, the Nunos home was flooded with fecal matter after a City of Houston Public Works employee tried to clear a clogged sewer line nearby.
We don t know exactly how it backed up into the home, Alvin Wright, from Houston Public Works, said Friday.
But it did. The Nunos bedroom was filled with feces and sewage, creating an environment so hazardous that the couple had to sleep in their pickup truck outside.
Wright said sewage eruptions like that usually stem from residents dumping grease into drains.
It s very rare that it does occur and when it does occur, we go to the homeowners we talk to the homeowners, we express our concern, because it is a health hazard, a health issue. And the only recourse right now in regards to the homeowner is to file a claim with the city s secretary s office, Wright said.
Alfredo Nuno was told to save receipts for everything he pays for out of pocket for repairs. He also must get three estimates from separate companies before he submits his damage claim to the city.
Only if the city wants to pay, if they don t want to pay, it s up to you. So, this is why I feel disappointed with the City of Houston. I mean, we work right here all our lives and to go through this. And we didn t do anything to receive this, Nuno said.
The first estimated cost for repairs was between $12,000 and $15,000. It s money Nuno said the family simply doesn t have.
I don t have that kind of money. I work day by day and week by week, Nuno said.
Nuno s district Councilman James Rodriguez said he spoke with the director of Houston Public Works.
Rodriguez said, with the Nunos permission, a city contractor was expected to come into the home for the first time to assess the damage and report back to officials.