Texas homeowners with broken pipes, other damage face contractor delays

Local

WILLIAMSON COUNTY, TX (KXAN) – Thousands of Central Texans are dealing with broken water pipes and other damage from the winter storm. The next move for many is calling a contractor or filing a damage claim.

But solutions aren’t coming quickly.

Plumber Chris Jones with Fox Service Company says contractors are in such high demand, people with damage could be waiting weeks.

“We’re at about two weeks right now,” he said. “By the time we’re able to actually repair and replace everything, it’s probably going to be a month or two out.”

Jones added that Fox Service Company has gotten more than 1200 calls in the last four to five days regarding for both plumbing and AC issues.

For a group of neighbors in the Star Ranch subdivision of Hutto, water damage sounds like a good problem to have. About four homes sustained significant damage when sewage backed up into their homes Thursday. The homes are utility customers of Williamson County MUD 22. Crossroads manages the utility’s water and wastewater services and told KXAN cold temperatures may have prompted a generator failure.

David Hiatt said he couldn’t save most of the first floor of his home after the sewage backup. His family’s unsalvageable furniture sits out in the front yard.

“There’s a lot of puns that can go with it,” said Hiatt. “We’re up crap’s creek, and we don’t have a paddle.”

Hiatt said he started gutting his home when he knew he wouldn’t be able to get a reclamation contractor to his home.

“I think we’ve talked to 12 companies,” said Hiatt’s neighbor, Shay McMinn, who also had sewage back up in her home. “We’re on waiting lists but we’re told it’s at least three weeks.”

As thousands of Central Texans grapple with weather-related damage, they’re now able to apply for assistance through FEMA.

To apply for assistance online, visit disasterassistance.gov. To do so over the phone, call (800) 621-3362. The lines will be in operation every day from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.

A spokesperson with FEMA says applicants should hear from the federal agency within a few days.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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