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'It Was Like Old Faithful': Toilet Explosion Terrifies Family, Leaves Home Damaged

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO-TV) -- A central Minnesota family is left dealing with a plumbing nightmare after an explosion of water shot out from their toilet. Rita Sanders said the frightening incident felt like an earthquake, and is now left looking for help from her city.

"In an instant, it's pressure, it's noise," Rita told WCCO-TV in Minneapolis. "It was like Old Faithful."

The incident knocked a painting off its hanging, left Sanders' home with some water damage, and her sleeping husband ended up hurt. "It startled him so bad that when he got up, he hit the dresser with his forehead, so he's got a nice little 'V' [cut]," Rita said.

Outside at the time were Pine City Public Works employees, who Rita feels are responsible. She says this is the second time this has happened in the last few years.

(credit: CBS)

Neighbors didn't experience the same unusual blast of water. "It made me sad for them, because I know they had that trouble before," said Pat Kempenich, who lives across the street.

Scott Hildebrand, the city administrator, says the workers were jetting the sewer line, a way to clean it out using high-pressure water streams. Hildebrand said typically the work doesn't affect individual homes. He wishes Sanders would've called immediately following the incident. She chose to send a letter instead in order to have communication about the problem in writing.

Hildebrand said WCCO's call was the first he heard of the incident, although Sanders says she spoke to someone in city offices who received her letter last week.

The city is sending someone out to hopefully diagnose the problem early Wednesday morning.

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