Eastpointe family left without running water for three weeks

‘I don’t know when I’m going to be able to stay in my home because I don’t have any help’

It started with sewer water backing up into the basement that made life awful for a family in Eastpointe. Turns out that they had a broken pipe in the yard, which a contractor started to fix this week. It’s now been three weeks without water, and things have only gotten worse. Not only has the family not had water for three weeks, this week, the problem got even deeper, literally.

EASTPOINTE – It started with sewer water backing up into the basement that made life awful for a family in Eastpointe. Turns out that they had a broken pipe in the yard, which a contractor started to fix this week.

It’s now been three weeks without water, and things have only gotten worse.

Not only has the family not had water for three weeks, this week, the problem got even deeper, literally.

Take a look at this hole seen in the video player above.

When they got the permits this week, they had to stop at the neighbor’s yard when they realized the pipe that needed to be fixed ran onto the property.

That caused a new roadblock and left a huge mess in their backyard.

“I cry most of the time, which is why I’m staring at you so that I don’t cry,” said Petrice Miller-Orear.

Miller-Orear has exhausted numerous avenues trying to get the broken water pipe fixed that she can’t really talk about it without her voice cracking.

First, the neighbors and their property owner had concerns about damage, and then they stopped answering her calls and texts.

“I could see if we were trying to knock down half of the home or something, but it’s water,” Miller-Orear said. “A pure necessity of life we don’t have it.”

She tried the city of Eastpointe, the Eastpointe Police Department, and legal counsel, but no one could help.

Jason Colthorp asked, “What are the emotions after you call all these places and talk to all these people and still get nowhere?”

“Hopeless, Miller-Orear said. “I don’t know when I’m going to be able to stay in my home because I don’t have any help.”

Representatives of the company that owns the neighboring property answered Colthorp’s call Friday (March 25) night.

A man told Colthorp that as long as Miller-Orear puts it in writing that any damage done is repaired, they’ll sign off.

“Wherever it’s at right now just please put it back to the same condition that’s all,” the representative. “As long as you guys can agree to that, we don’t care. Get your water, you need that.”

Hopefully, that gets the backhoe rolling again for Miller-Orear, but in addition to getting her water back on, she’d like one other thing.

“Just a little empathy,” Miller-Orear said. “From the city of Eastpointe from the company, somewhere until someone says ‘you know, if it was me that was living without water.’ You are a heartless person to not allow access to water.”

That rep also cited an argument with the contractor as a reason things got derailed this week.

Colthorp did leave a voicemail on the cell phone of Eastpointe’s water department.

Miller-Orear did send that email Friday night, so hopefully, it won’t be long, and Local 4 News will be staying in touch to make sure the property owners honor that agreement.


About the Authors:

Jason anchors Local 4's 5:30 p.m. newscast. He joined WDIV in January 2015 as a general assignment reporter and has a Journalism degree from Michigan State University.

Brandon Carr is a digital content producer for ClickOnDetroit and has been with WDIV Local 4 since November 2021. Brandon is the 2015 Solomon Kinloch Humanitarian award recipient for Community Service.