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Families find raw sewage in their apartments

Update: 4:53 pm, 7/14/14, Monday CHAMPAIGN -- Some families are getting good news after raw sewage flooded their apartments this weekend.
Update: 4:53 pm, 7/14/14, Monday
CHAMPAIGN -- Some families are getting good news after raw sewage flooded their apartments this weekend. Sunday, 25 apartments at Champaign House, on Lincolnshire Drive, were flooded. At the time, tenants said property managers weren't doing enough to help.

That changed Monday. Tenants say, the last 48 hours was stressful. Monday, the property manager met with each of them individually and provided them with some solutions.

If tenants wanted to stay in their apartments, the managers agreed to put them in a hotel and put their belongings in a storage unit so they can renovate the apartments.

Some tenants wanted to move out. They were also taken care of. They were given the option of moving into a vacant unit owned by the same company. Everything will be moved for the tenants free of charge. If they wanted out of the lease completely, they got their security deposits back and this month's rent pro-rated.

Apartment complex managers are working closely with the city. The manager says the city's sewer filtration system couldn't handle the amount of water this weekend, causing the toilets and tubs to backup and overflow.

Not all the tenants are completely happy, but the manager says this is the best they can do.
Original: 6:32 pm, 7/13/14, Sunday
CHAMPAIGN -- More than 20 families are forced out of their homes after raw sewage flooded their apartments. This weekend's heavy rain flooded most of the basement apartments at The Champaign House on Lincolnshire Drive. Families say they aren't getting the help they need from the property manager. WCIA-3's Anthony Antoine has the story.

"Our apartments have been declared unlivable and we had to immediately evacuate, but they don't have an evacuation plan in place for us," says Tammy Washington.

Washington and 25 other families came home to raw sewage covering the floors in their apartments.

"You heard a gurgling in your toilet" says Washington, and when she went to check it out, "feces and everything is just shooting up at you."

Champaign got about five inches of rain in less than two hours and that was too much for the storm drains.

"It does appear to be a city thing. From what we're told, the sewer system at the sewer filtration plant could not handle it, so it began to back up and we had about 25 units where raw sewage started to back up, fill the toilets and fill the bath tubs," says Ken Ford Regional Manager of McKinley Properties.

Washington says she is upset because the property has vacant units and management didn't make them available to the tenants.

"I asked if they can prorate the rent, and give us immediate refunds so that we can try to place ourselves somewhere else. They said that can take 30 to 45 days.
So what do you do in the meanwhile?"

Ken Ford says they plan to help as much as they can.

"We're going to be able to see if we can get them in to other units, or if they want to get out of their lease we're going to do that without penalty so we're going to try to work as much as we can to help the residents."

Washington says "I just want some help. I just want safe, livable conditions for me and my son. That's it. That's all."

There's some debate how the residents will be compensated, but the property manager says he'll meet with each tenant and hopefully they can come to some sort of resolution.

In the meantime, the Red Cross has a temporary shelter set up for them at the old Carey Busey Elementary School on Kirby Ave. Most residents chose to stay the night with friends or family.
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