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Seven Plano apartment complexes still dealing with water loss and weeks of repairs



PLANO, TX — Lora Coleman and Antonio Gething described the last two weeks in their North Texas apartments as “disastrous.”

Coleman lives with her 19-year-old son and Gething supports a family of six in their Bel Air Oaks apartments in Plano. The mid-February winter storm led to burst pipes and leaks throughout homes, businesses and apartments in North Texas.

“We can’t live like this. This is not fair to people who pay their rent on time,” said Coleman.

The city of Plano had 60 apartment complexes lose water last week because of busted pipes and leaks. This week there are still seven complexes facing some form of water loss.

The complexes with water loss include Bel Air Oaks, Bel Air Willow Bend, Hunter’s Glen, Mission Gate, Somerset at Spring Creek, The Gio and The Parker, according to a list obtained by the City of Plano.

Coleman and Gething are next-door neighbors who have recently grown really close because they share a wall that has been taken down to make room for pipe repairs.

“We don’t have to knock on each other’s door. We can talk through the washroom. His cat came over here,” laughed Coleman.

A busted pipe in the washroom left a hole, and up until Monday afternoon, Coleman could see into Gething’s kitchen. By late Monday a plastic sheeting had been placed to separate the neighbors.

WFAA spoke with the management of Bel Air Oaks, which is owned by American Communities. Management told us there are between five and 20 plumbers working “around the clock and being paid double” to fix the 40 mainline breaks and thousands of leaks. They say part of the reason for the delays is the scarcity of plumbing supplies to fix the pipe problems.

Bel Air Oaks management said the priority is getting water back to residents. Most buildings have water, but there are a few buildings that do not and should have water by Wednesday, management said. But the related repairs, like fixing caved-in ceilings and putting up drywall, could take several weeks.

Meanwhile, port-a-potties have been set up throughout the complex. Some residents said apartment management and the City of Plano distributed pallets of water in the main office.

Gething said he spent more than $2,000 out of pocket on hotels and gas and supplies. Coleman said she spent $1,200.

Bel Air Oaks management said all residents have been alerted to funding assistance through FEMA and the Department of Homeland Security. Both Coleman and Gething said late Monday they did not qualify for any assistance.

Outside of water the biggest concern from many residents is the lack of communication. Bel Air Oaks management said their property managers are responding to requests as quickly as possible.

“There were no offers of relocation or anything, none of that,” Gething said. Bel Air Oaks management refuted that claim Monday, saying some people have already been relocated and others have been let out of their lease.

Coleman said her current situation is unlivable. She and Gething claim to have sent numerous emails that have gone unanswered.

As of Monday, this is the 15th day Coleman and Gething have gone without water.