Community | WCTV Eyewitness News: Tallahassee, Thomasville, Valdosta

Woman's Apartment Floods Two Days Before Christmas


Imagine having many of your belongings and Christmas presents damaged or ruined and it wasn't your fault.

It happened to a Tallahassee woman who's now trying to re-group.

"I didn't do this and they're talking about there's nothing they can do," said Kim McDowell.

Monday morning, McDowell woke up to a very unpleasant surprise.

"Water was like right here to me and I turned the light on and I'm like what in the...," said McDowell.

McDowell says pictures show water was all over her apartment at the Leon Arms complex on Tallahassee's south side where she lives with her four year old daughter.

In her kitchen, living room, bedroom, bathroom she says it was everywhere.

"You don't know what kind of water that can be coming up out of the ground and my baby gotta live in here in brown water," McDowell said. "She's on a machine, she's got asthma, this is like it don't make no sense," she said.

Leon Arms property manager Karen Koelemij tells us the flooding was caused by what's called a slab leak.

It's a leak in the water line underground and the water seeped through the concrete.

She says a maintenance crew cleaned up the apartment as best as possible and a plumber fixed the leak.

"Christmas in two days all my stuff is wet," said McDowell. "I work at McDonald's, I don't sell drugs," she said. "I work too hard for me to wake up to something like this," McDowell said.

Donna Bryant says her apartment across the street from McDowell also flooded a few months ago when a pipe burst.

She says she only lost some new clothes for her son.

Among McDowell's ruined or damaged property is a brand new flat screen tv and Christmas presents for her daughter.

"I think it's not fair," said Bryant. "They should reimburse her or buy some stuff for her kid or something," she said.

Koelemij says the complex's insurance doesn't cover tenants personal belongings.

Koelemij tells us the underground pipes date back to 1969.

It's one reason she says she encourages residents to get renter's insurance.

McDowell told us like most residents, she doesn't have it.


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