Repair mistake floods out Edina home, but resident says city is no help

Construction season has municipalities across the country taking advantage of the nice weather to get some important infrastructure work done. But, when something goes wrong and a resident suffers damage as a result, you'd expect the city to step up.

In Edina, however, a homeowner says she's getting the runaround after a mistake made by a subcontractor flooded out her home. Now, she stuck dealing with thousands of dollars in bills and having little luck getting help from the city.

"The water was about six inches deep throughout the whole room," explains Sarah Bridges.

Standing in her basement, Bridges is thankful things are dry. Other than that, she says nothing is as it should be. For weeks, work has been underway in this east corner of Edina to replace the curb stop water shutoff valves. In late May, work in front of Bridges' house sent water gushing into the basement.

"I’m a really logical person," she says. "I understand mistakes happen, but the City of Edina doesn’t let you know they are not going to pay for losses. They don't help you when there is a major problem. There is literally not even an apology."

Between mold mitigation, abatement for a broken asbestos tile, staying in a hotel, and getting the basement back to what it was before, Bridges has already shelled out over $5,000. Plus, she's being quoted $50,000 for all the repairs.

"It’s pretty horrifying to see it in this state, in general," adds Bridges.

We talked with a spokesperson for the City of Edina who insists this isn’t their issue. They hired a contractor who, in turn, hired a subcontractor who did take initial immediate responsibility and helped dry the house out. But, as issues inside the basement unfolded, that’s when insurance companies got involved.

"It’s been a nightmare and I think the thing that is hardest for me, I understand subcontractors. I hire subcontractors. I can’t fathom turning to one of my clients and saying 'I’m sorry that’s a subcontractor that committed negligence -- not my problem.'"

While the city requires contractors to carry a minimum of $1 million worth of coverage for any incident related to the project, Bridges has since learned the fine print only covers the depreciated value -- not the actual cost to replace what was lost.

"It doesn’t seem fair that my insurance company is paying for this," she says. "They are going to go after the subcontractor, but won't get full compensation and I’m, of course, going to have a claim on my insurance and this was negligent on the part of the subcontractor."

And while she'd like to see insurance coverage and city's requirements change, Bridges believes an apology would go a long way. She says, "When something goes wrong, you are kind of on your own."