Residents File Tort Claims Against City Of Twin Falls
Twin Falls, Idaho ( KMVT-TV / KSVT-TV )
Excessive rain on August 6th was what the National Weather Service called a 100–year storm.
The rare event has many Twin Falls residents scrambling to clean up the mess left behind.
Steve Braley has lived in his home for 40 years.
Like his neighbors, he couldn't have predicted the damage that would be done to his basement.
Braley explains, "the water of course was crawling up the walls the sewage was gushing out of the toilet– I quickly had to pull the toilet. Unfortunately my neighbors weren't as lucky."
Braley and his wife say the damage was caused by the sewage system backing up.
Mrs. Braley adds, "the sewage was coming out of the toilets fifteen inches above the toilet. There was no water coming out of any regressed window whatsoever, all damage was done by the sewer."
The couple filed a tort claim against the city.
They were not alone.
City Risk Manager Gretchen Scott explains, "right now we have 12 claims. Essentially the same description– storm water or surface water runoff or sewer water backing up through drains in the basement."
The city notes they followed state law, forwarding the claims to their insurance company.
Scott continues, "our insurance company did an investigation to determine whether or not there was negligence. I feel sorry for all the citizens– it's a terrible ordeal to have to get through."
The Braley's did not get the answer they were hoping for.
Steve explains, "we got a response from the insurance company in Boise and they turned us down. In our house we only filed for 28–hundred dollars but the neighbors it is ongoing and it could be as much as 20, 30 thousand dollars."
Now, they are trying to move forward.
Steve adds they are "just hoping and praying that something can be done so we don't have to live like this any longer."
To be considered a 100 year storm, the amount of rainfall must surpass 2.2 inches.
In some places, Twin Falls received more than 3 inches.