City of Decatur spokeswoman: Summer Key Apartment’s drain backed up; residents' cars flooded

Drainage issues for a Decatur Apartment Complex continue

DECATUR, Ala. (WAFF) - Wednesday night, we spoke to people who live at an apartment complex who are getting tired of watching their cars flood.

On Thursday night we found out who is responsible for the drains on the property.

There are two drainage ditches on the property. One falls under the city’s responsibility, the other is a private drain, and a Decatur City spokeswoman tells us Summer Key is responsible for maintaining it.

The city spokeswoman says inspectors discovered the drain the apartment is responsible for maintaining was blocked with a foot of debris.
The city spokeswoman says inspectors discovered the drain the apartment is responsible for maintaining was blocked with a foot of debris. (Source: WAFF)

A foot of debris, that’s what Decatur city officials say is blocking the drain that Summer Key Apartment owns.

To add to the mess, a spokeswoman says the city’s drain was blocked by a recycling bin.

That resulted in flooded cars.

People who live here say this has been happening for years. Since Wednesday’s rain, resident Kristi Lawson says her daughter’s car hasn’t been able to start.

“My daughter needs a car. She just started a new job last week and needs her transportation," Lawson said.

City officials tell us crews have cleaned the drain its responsible for at least three times this year, most recently in July. Lawson says when she called the apartment manager they would not take responsibility for the clogged drain.

“She threw it in my face today that the lease that I signed says they will not be responsible for acts of God. Yes, rain is an act of God. A clogged drain is not an act of God. That’s poor maintenance," Lawson said.

Lawson says she called her insurance company today to file a claim.

But this isn’t the only complaint about the property we’ve received.

Greg Dyer lives behind the apartment complex and says workers stopped maintaining their section of property behind his house. Now he says there is a rotting fence where residents dump trash, and even rats.

“We put poison out and we killed about 30 in one year. Big ones, that we would pick up off the yard, dead. I would just like for them to take care of their property. It makes the city look bad," Dyer said.

When I was at the complex Wednesday to get some answers from apartment management, I was kicked off the property.

Property management may end up having to answer to lawsuits from residents.

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