PORTSMOUTH — Residents in a Portsmouth neighborhood say they are dealing with a soggy situation that is causing damage to their health and homes.
Residents on Edgewood Drive addressed Portsmouth City Council Monday, sharing they believe an underground spring has been causing health problems for them and physical damage to their homes. Residents stated many have standing water underneath their homes and in some cases, it has caused their foundations to sink.
“I am here with several of my neighbors, mainly to talk about a water issue we all have,” Edgewood Drive resident Charlie Maillet said. “Apparently, all of our houses have been built on a spring. I know for myself, the center of my house is falling in. It is literally sinking. There are cracks in my foundation, cracks in my walls and the floor is bowing.”
Maillet shared with the council that he has been dealing with water issues for almost two years and that his backyard turns into a swamp when it rains. Maillet informed the council that he has had several contractors look at the issue, with many not being able to fix it.
“Every contractor I have had come has either said it would be $10,000 to fix, or they say this is too big for us to work on,” Maillet said. “So, I am here just to address with my neighbors this issue. They all say the same thing that the water needs to be fixed first.”
Portsmouth resident Edie Knittel also addressed the council about the underground spring issue stating she has been sick for more than a year and a half with breathing problems due to standing water underneath her home.
“I have been sick for a year and a half with breathing problems, and doctors couldn’t find what it was,” Knittel said to the council. “There is standing water and mold, black mold and it is now around my windows. I didn’t know it was this serious until I started talking to my neighbors. We have 30 houses up there. Almost all of them have problems.”
Knittel explained to the council she believes the problem has been growing over the years and that many contractors have said drains will need to be installed throughout the neighborhood to help remedy the issue.
“I don’t know if my neighbors have black mold, but I know I do,” Knittel said. “I have talked to quite a few of you about this and I just hope you have an answer for us. The more I talk to the people they are really concerned, and as they pay their taxes, I know that hopefully, you have the money and the expertise to know what to do in solving this issue.”
Several other residents who recently moved to the Edgewood Drive neighborhood also addressed the council Monday, asking how their homes’ resell and property value would be affected.
“If we try to sell, this will have to be on the disclosures, wouldn’t it?” One resident asked. “What do we tell people?”
Once all residents addressed the council seeking answers and help, Portsmouth Mayor Kevin Johnson informed them that Portsmouth City Manager Sam Sutherland would be looking into the issues and following up with residents.
“I think it’s fair to say Sam will send somebody or personally go up himself and take a look at some point,” Johnson said. “Sam will follow up.”
Reach Adam Black at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1927, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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