Townhome residents demand answers after water shut off for more than 24 hours

Townhome residents demand answers after water shut off for more than 24 hours

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - After more than 24 hours and a flood of calls into NBC12's newsroom, the water at the Mallard Greens townhome complex in the city's East End is back on.

Residents called 12 On Your Side after the water was shut off early Tuesday morning. After NBC12 crews visited the property, management started passing out gallons of water and sent a notice to residents.

Residents say that the property manager, AMC Management, told them the water outage was caused by everything from a sewer backup, to a waterline problem, to a potentially unpaid bill with the city. It's unclear still why the water was shut off, and NBC12 has not heard back directly from AMC Management.

A notice passed out to residents reads:

Urgent Notice: Water Interruption. On Tuesday, November 28th, Mallard Greens Townhomes experienced a temporary water shut off. We are working diligently with the city of Richmond- Department of Public Utilities in an effort to rectify this issue. Immediately, upon notification, AMC Management Team sprung into swift action to make immediate accommodations for all residents. As a result, we have several units designated for your convenience to serve as temporary usage.

Residents say this notice was delivered late Tuesday night, after an entire day without water.

"That means your fecal material, urine and everything is just sitting in the toilet," said resident Donnita Wilkins.

"You're scared to eat because you know you got to go to the bathroom. It's a shame. It's terrible. It really is awful," said Burnette Harris, another resident of nine years.

Harris says after management told her several different reasons for the outage, she called the city herself.

"In the process of calling the city, that's when they told me the bill hadn't been paid," continued Harris.

The complex spans both Richmond and Henrico. However, the Henrico side never lost water.

Management made gallons of water available for residents and allowed people to use two working, empty apartments for showering. However, multiple people told NBC12 they thought that idea was unsanitary.

"That's very unsanitary... bathing behind folks that you don't even know, and they don't even clean it," added Wilkins.

AMC Management's rental office was locked, when NBC12 knocked on the door. The phone number for management had a full voicemail, and was not accepting messages. Corporate representatives didn't return calls or emails either.

A representative with the city's Department of Public Utilities says that they are not legally allowed to comment on customer accounts. The property manager would be the customer, in this situation.

The Central Virginia Legal Aid Society tells NBC12, residents have a right to request money back from the property manager or take them to court, if the water bill was not paid.

However, if a needed repair was the cause of the water outage, the law provides property managers a reasonable time to fix the issue.

On Thursday, the property manager says residents who were impacted would be refunded some rent money for their inconvenience due to the water being shut off.

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