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Tallahassee neighbor asks city to take responsibility for alleged sewage back up; how the city is responding

Posted at 5:59 PM, May 09, 2024
and last updated 2024-05-09 17:59:46-04
  • Two families came to city leaders asking them for help with flood damage from the April 11 storm.
  • One family says sewage backed up into their home.
  • Tallahassee's Mayor John Dailey says staff is looking into the cases.
  • Watch the video to hear what the city told one family.


Neighbors in Northeast Tallahassee are still dealing with the aftermath of early April storms and are asking the City of Tallahassee for answers.

Neighbors like Brad and Tara Williams tell me they are still dealing with damage in their home after the storm on April 11. "I went out into the living room to see what was going on and legitimately thought I was going to see a tree in my living room."

There was no tree, but they told me sewage was flowing into their home instead. "There was raw sewage coming out of our house anywhere it could, the toilet, the tubs, the sinks."

She said they contacted the city risk manager for answers. "I have sent multiple, multiple emails and basically he said it's a natural disaster and the city is not taking any responsibility for it."

Williams shared those emails with me and a city risk manager specialist told them their home is "...susceptible to water infiltration..." and is not the city's responsibility.

I met the family at the city commission meeting when they brought their problem to city leaders.

I caught up with Mayor John Dailey to see what the city is doing to address their concerns about sewage issues. "The team through the city of Tallahassee at the treasurer clerk's office, we take these claims very seriously. We go over them with a fine-tooth comb."

He said it's important to hear from neighbors when experiencing these issues. "It's important when we do have these events that there's constant communication between any individual, families or businesses that were impacted and the city of Tallahassee."

That's why Sindhura Sastry and her family came to the meeting as well.

They saw significant flooding in their home. "It was water everywhere. Suddenly, overnight, everything changed. We don't know what to do, where to go."

Her family asked city leaders for help, as they said water went into their home instead of a nearby retention pond. "I'm not a civil engineer so I don't know what the design issue is but it's not fair that all the water ends up in our backyard."

But Dailey said he knows the city's team will get with both of the families.

"I have complete confidence that the treasurer clerk and his team are going to do everything they possibly can to review these claims and make the appropriate decisions."

The city told those neighbors someone will reach out to them by Friday afternoon.