Flood strikes twice for airman with new home in Tampa - WFLA News Channel 8

Flood strikes twice for airman with new home in Tampa

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Sgt. Edwards Sgt. Edwards
TAMPA, FL (WFLA) - Air Force Tech Sgt. Telisha Edwards thought the worst was behind her when Aston Woods Homes agreed to decontaminate her brand new home on South Trask Street in Tampa after raw sewage from a faulty sewer line flooded the interior two weeks ago.

The homebuilder initially balked at paying for repairs but agreed to accept responsibility after Eight on Your Side started asking questions.

This week Edwards invited us to see the restoration in progress - new drywall, new carpets, new bathroom vanity. But when we met Edwards at her house on South Trask Street in Tampa we discovered another disaster in progress.

A large mirror had fallen off her master bathroom wall and severed the water lines to her sink. Half of Edwards' home was under an inch or more of water, and it was still gushing full force from the severed lines.

We quickly located a nearby worker who used a large wrench to turn off the water supply. Meanwhile, we shut off the electrical service at the main breaker to avoid a fire (water was flooding some of Edwards electronics in the living room), and called the builder with news of the latest mishap.

"Water leaked into the garage," Telisha said after surveying the damage. "Now everything that is in the garage that I was trying to keep safe is wet."

Homebuilder Jeremy Brongo stopped by the house while cleanup crews were vacuuming out gallons of water. Brongo called the mirror mishap a "freak accident" and assured Edwards his company would bear all expenses related to that latest problem, in addition to resolving damage from the earlier sewer back up.

As bad as it seemed, it could have been worse.

Edwards said the gushing water lines might have gone on for days because the DRIRITE restoration crew hired by Ashton Woods Homes wasn't due back at the home until the house had completely dried from their decontamination of the previous sewage spill.

Edwards and her family have been staying in a Tampa hotel until the mess is resolved and last visited the home Saturday evening.

"Had you not called me today I wouldn't have come by here," Edwards said. "And it would have been a lot worse."

Wish we could take credit. That wasn't the game plan of Eight On Your Side - we were as surprised as Edwards was when we walked through the door.

It is unlikely now that Edwards will be able to celebrate Christmas inside her twice-flooded home with her fiance and 5-year-old daughter. It might even be a stretch to return by New Year's.

But Sgt. Edwards, who says she encountered rougher conditions during her recent deployment to Afghanistan, says she is putting her faith to work amid all the hardships in her brand new home.

"I cried, I prayed and I'm just keeping the faith that it's all going to work out in the end," said Edwards.

Edwards' daughter Jasmine wants to know when the family could leave the cramped hotel room for the comfort of their new house. Edwards bought a miniature pink Christmas tree so her daughter could have some holiday fun decorating it in the hotel room.

"I just have to put that 'mommy' face on and say 'honey it's OK, we're just gonna spend Christmas here'," Edwards said.

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