Gandfather says water main break floods home


FLINT (WJRT) (08/12/19) – A grandfather is pleading for help from the city of Flint after a water main break flooded his home.

“If the house is not livable, I’ve got to find some place to live, I’ve got to do something,” said Flint homeowner Kenneth Pertler.

Kenneth Pertler has poured his heart and soul into his beloved home of more than 50 years. Some of those memories were washed away in a matter of minutes.

“There’s mementos down there and keepsakes, they’re all ruined, stuff from my wife had from her family,” Pertler said.

His nightmare began on July 17.

“My grandson’s downstairs and he come up and said grandpa there’s water coming here like crazy. It was just gushing out like Old Faithful,” Pertler said.

The 80-year-old immediately called his son, Duane, and they soon learned it wasn’t caused by anything inside. The culprit was actually under the street right in front of his home, which is torn up.

“This wasn’t a sewer backup where you’re dumping stuff down the drain and you got to back up,this was caused by a main break,” said son Duane Zaruba.

They said the water that flowed into Kenneth’s home was so high that it was coming out of the basement windows. They reached out to the city of Flint for help.

“I went down to City Hall to file a claim, I did all the work, went to the city clerk, who said, ‘How much are you filing for?’ I said I don’t know. I don’t know how much this is going to cost altogether. She said, ‘Well you can’t file a claim till you put down an amount,” Pertler said.

He is a retired city worker himself, so he tried to get the city to do something.

“The inspection people said they were going to come over on Monday a week ago and they never showed up, so I went down the next day and they said well he’s got other things going on. He’ll let you know when he can make it out,” Zaruba said.

But Duane said his dad doesn’t have the luxury of waiting.

“Everything down there is mold. Everything.” Zaruba said.


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