Residents impacted by water main break learn more about reimbursement plan

The last few weeks have been like a terrible nightmare for St. Louis Park residents in the Texa-Tonka neighborhood like Theresa Wirtz. 

"I'm traumatized over wondering when it's going to happen next," Wirtz told FOX 9. "I can't afford to move and I can't afford to fix it up."

Late last month, a massive water main break flooded nearly 60 houses with more than a foot of sewage water. 

Two weeks later, it happened again, impacting more than 20 houses - some of the same ones that were hit the first time around.

On Wednesday night at a community meeting, homeowners asked some tough questions about the three-step process laid out to reimburse homeowners for clean-up and replacement costs.

Earlier this week, St. Louis Park City Council approved a plan for impacted residents totaling $100,000; up to $40,000 from the city's insurance company and up to $60,000 from the city of St. Louis Park. Homeowners hit by both water main breaks are eligible to receive more. 

Representatives from the League of Minnesota Cities, the city's insurance company, said the total pot of money available to doll out to residents is $2 million. They added they hope to get money out as soon as possible to people, but the city has a target date of August 1st.

"$20,000 - even if they cut it today, I'm still out of pocket $32,000," said Dimi Lalos, who had just replaced his furnace, water heater, and washer and dryer when his basement was flooded for a second time on Saturday.

He believes the date of August 1st given by the city just isn't soon enough. 

"[The city initially said] we want to get these dollars out as soon as we possibly can, we want to help you. Now, it's kind of a very slow-moving process," said Lalos. 

A spokesperson for the city tells FOX 9 that over the coming weeks there will be discussions about potentially replacing the entire water main that broke. 

The cost of replacing a water main is estimated to be between $3 and $4 million.