Storm sewer backup turned basement drains into geysers. Now some homeowners are pointing fingers at a contractor hired by the city in Fremont.
Two weeks ago Eugene Nicholson found six inches of muddy water in his basement, caused by a sewer backup.
"I'm 74 years old and I spend 12 hours straight running up and down the basement stairs, hauling stuff out," Nicholson says.
About 15 Fremont homeowners endured basement damage, like Ray Gaudrau, who took photos of a flooded sewer project.
"Your damages are the result of heavy rain," he says.
But EMC Insurance, covering Collins Construction, sent letters stating an initial impression that the contractor wasn't negligent or responsible for any damage.
"I say they're full of it," Gaudrau says.
Nicholson says he watched workers jump in.
"Lo and behold, the water drained away and they took covers off," Nicholson says.
Nicholson claims $3,500 in damages. Since the sewer backup Nicholson had collector railroad posters set up in his shop, and you can tell they're wrinkled. He's trying to restore them since they're worth $45 a piece.
Homeowners insurance won't cover the sewer backup without a special rider and Nicholson says he won't be railroaded into paying for damages out of his pocket.
"I think the construction company should take responsibility," Nicholson says.
Neighbors are now wondering if they'll have to hire an attorney to build their case.
A spokesperson for the insurance carrier says the claims are still open and the company hasn't made any decisions at this time. The contractor declined to comment.