SIKESTON, MO (KFVS) - Two months ago, Sikeston city crews accidentally flooded one family’s home with raw sewage.
If they're at fault, what's taking them so long to fix the situation?
There's no nice way to put what happened to the Thomas family on Murray lane.
A city crew used water to blow out a clogged line back on February 12 and flooded the Thomas' two bathrooms floor to ceiling with feces, urine, and toilet paper.
"I heard something, you know, it was just going like this, it was just shaking," Vivienne Thomas recalled of that day, shaking her now loose toilet back and forth on the bathroom floor. "I opened the bathroom door and came in, and there was sewage tissue and everything projecting out of the commode, hitting the ceiling here."
"This mirror right here, that's where it splashed down from the wall here,” she showed pointing and the brown spots all over the glass. And it only gets worse.
"This line that's here around the tub, this is the level where the sewage was," she said of the brown-stained rim around the top of her bathtub.
The conditions aren't any better in the Thomas' smaller bathroom.
"When the water was coming up," she explained as she climbs on top of the toilet seat, "and it was projecting up out of here, it was hitting the ceiling, just shaking it like this. All of this is loose."
Two months later, Thomas uses bleach and candles to mask the odor we could still smell. A stack full of pink sheets represents missed work days dealing with adjusters, and doctors after she says the conditions left her and others in her family sick. She says Ron Priday with the Board of Municipal Utilities has been in regular contact with her.
"He's communicating back and forth with us twice a week, you know, and we're still living in these conditions."
And while BMU takes responsibility, Vivienne has received just a $2700 offer from the utility's insurance provider. Two independent estimates put her damage between $14,000 and $21,000.
"I've been buying a lot of chemicals and the smell's not going anywhere," she said. "And we're still not getting anywhere with the insurance company."
It took several calls to BMU to get Director Ed Throop on the phone.
After he questioned why we'd even be doing a story about the Thomas' situation, Throop then quickly shifted gears and said the insurance provider will cover the higher of the two estimates. That's news Thomas learned as we shared it with her.
It left her teary-eyed and thankful the beginning of the end may be in sight.
"Hearing something today that they're going to get something done, this is very exciting."
"Well good, we are very happy for you," I told her.
"And I'm very thankful for you all coming,” Thomas said. “Yeah, thank you."
Thomas contacted the EPA and that agency contacted the city.
I also spoke to Mr. Priday, who says the insurance company clearly moved slowly on the Thomas' claim.
He's verifying the settlement then calling Vivienne Thomas.
She promises to let me know when that is, and how quickly everyone moves to get her bathrooms fixed and her peace of mind restored.