Baton Rouge, Louisiana
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FEMA house-hauler damaged water line; Homeowner soaked

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BATON ROUGE - A man is facing a large bill after a tractor-trailer hauling a FEMA Manufactured Housing Unit drove over his plumbing line and broke it.

Along Ventura Drive in Baton Rouge, water trickling from a pipe into the street has been a regular occurrence for weeks. 

"Underneath this sidewalk, there's a cracked pipe," David Kelly said. "And yet, nothing's been done."

Kelly, a contractor working on a flood-damaged house across the street says he watched it all happen. He says a trailer, pulling a FEMA MHU from the house next door, drove over the driveway, over the curb and onto the next property where the water line is broken.

"They pulled it out with a crawler and when they drove out, they drove right over the water line, crushed it, broke it into pieces," said Kelly.

Mr. Le owns the house connected to the plumbing line. The Baton Rouge Water Company says it's up to him to pick up those pieces and repair the damage.

It's left a notice at Le's home twice, explaining the leak is on his side of the water meter and repairs are his responsibility.

Neighbors and Kelly say that's not right since he never gave that tractor driver permission to drive across his property. Le and others say they have called FEMA and the trailer inspection company to report the issues, but have not had a response.

"In no way should Mr. Le be responsible for that," said Kelly.

The water continues to leak in the street. While it does not appear to have affected Mr. Le's water bill, this unexpected project has dollar signs written all over it. The sidewalk and part of the driveway will likely need to be dug up to make repairs.

FEMA tells 2 On Your Side it's looking into this case. The Baton Rouge Water Company confirms, any issues on the customer's side of the meter is the customer's responsibility.


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