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Ailing Woman Needs To Clear Flooded Basement Every 3 Hours

FIRESTONE, Colo. (CBS4) - An ailing woman in Firestone has been stuck with a flooded basement after construction work in her neighborhood. Now she's left with thousands of dollars in repairs she can't afford and parts of her home are unlivable due to all the water inside.

Homeowner Kathie Martinez's basement fills up with at least 50 gallons of water every few hours. The water just keeps flowing into the basement. The sump pump comes on about every 8 minutes, pumping water away from the house, but her basement still floods.

Martinez, 69, just wants help and doesn't believe the problem is her fault. It happened after a sewer pipeline repair.

"It's hard. I go down there with the shop-n-vac and then when it feels up I have to dump it," she said.

Martinez depends on oxygen to survive because of her ailing health. But religiously, every 3 hours she runs up and down to the basement to get rid of all the water.

"I just figure as long as God's given me the strength I can still do it."

The problem has been going on for over a month ever since the St. Vrain Sanitation District repaired several cracked sewer pipes that had groundwater flowing into them. Now that it can't flow into the pipes the water now floods Martinez's basement, the lowest property in the neighborhood.

"We can't fix the problem because it isn't a sewer problem," sanitation district manager Eric Doering told CBS4.

Doering admitted Martinez's flooding is due to their sewer pipe repairs. They gave her no warning that it would happen or that the work was even being done.

St. Vrain was required by the state to make the recent pipe repairs and did know that it would have forced the water to go somewhere else. Martinez just wishes she would have been warned.

"I should have been told what they were doing," Martinez said.

The manager for the town of Firestone said the sanitation district and the town are running a number of tests on the water to determine who's it is that's running into the basement. Once that's determined then the appropriate party will pay to fix the problem.

If it's neither sewer or town groundwater, Martinez is going to be stuck with the bill estimated to be up to $20,000.

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