Family of 14 displaced after sewer water floods home - KPTV - FOX 12

Family of 14 displaced after sewer water floods home

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Surveillance image of man hired to fix house who allegedly stole from the Hernandez family. Surveillance image of man hired to fix house who allegedly stole from the Hernandez family.
SALEM, OR (KPTV) -

A Salem family is without a place to call home Monday, after sewer water floods their home during the storm, destroying everything its path.

This all happened around 7:30 am Monday, Dec. 7th.

The Hernandez family says they are temporarily staying in a hotel while repairs are being made to the house.  The family of 14 believes the city is to blame, but says they aren't doing enough to help them financially. 

“My family has no home, it’s Christmas, I don’t know what to tell the kids, or the grand kids,” said Mari Lu Hernandez. “We have nothing at this point, everything is ruined.”

“We woke up to toilet water flooding things, my pictures, and my kid’s videos of them walking. That’s things I can’t replace, I can’t bring those memories back,” said Hernandez.

Hernandez says when her family tried to figure out how it all happened, they noticed a city truck parked nearby.

“We ran over there and we asked them what was going on, and they admitted it then that it was their fault and their problem,” said Hernandez.

Hernandez tells FOX 12 she’s trying to get the city to take financial responsibility for their temporary housing, for however long that might be.  Also, for everything they lost in that flood.

So far, she says they city has offered minimal help.

“They told us right now that they will help for next week, but after, we don’t know what will happen,” said Hernandez. “And they want us to put it on the credit card first, and then they say they’ll reimburse us.”

To make matters worse, the family says a man hired to fix the house, allegedly stole from them.  It’s all caught on their surveillance cameras and FOX 12 has confirmed Salem Police are now investigating.

“Kick them when they’re down, that’s the way I feel,” said Hernandez.

FOX 12 took the family’s concerns to city administrators to get answers. 

The city issued this statement to FOX 12 about the situation:

“The City of Salem is very concerned about the misfortune of the displaced family. The details are still being investigated, however, the City is committed to ensuring that this family is helped through temporary housing as well as connected to other community resources. On December 7, 2015, during an epic rain storm event, the City of Salem Public Works department was in continuous operations to respond to an influx of storm events. Several Public Works service requests from the vicinity of Rosemont Ave. NW were received. In an effort to help, Public Works' staff attempted to redirect water, and cut into the line to determine if there was a blockage. The City of Salem is actively working to both aid the displaced family and conclude the investigation. Salem Public Works continues to monitor the situation once the water recedes, the City will be able to work to help resolve this issue.”

In response to the statement, Hernandez says she’s surprised.  She added that she hopes the city honors their word, and plans to follow up with them tomorrow.

“I think they owe my girls a place to stay, and for us to stay together as a family. They should step up and take responsibility they knew they did this,” said Hernandez.

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