Water outage creates nightmare for residents at apartment complex

Published 10:16 am Friday, January 7, 2022

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By EMILY SPARACINO | Staff Writer 

NORTH SHELBY – Several days after Christmas, residents at an apartment complex in Shelby County encountered an unexpected situation that left many scrambling and searching for answers.

Posts began circulating on social media last week about an alleged water outage at The Abbey at Inverness, an apartment community located off U.S. 280 in northern Shelby County.

Madison Coleman and her roommate, Kaitlyn Terwilliger, were among many of the complex’s residents who expressed frustrations about the way the situation was handled.

According to Coleman and Terwilliger, the outage started on the evening of Thursday, Dec. 30 and lasted until Tuesday, Jan. 4.

“We were not made aware of what was going on until late Friday morning,” Coleman said. “On Friday, we received maybe two text messages with minimal status updates letting us know they were trying to work on it. There was no timeline on when it would be fixed.”

Terwilliger said residents were told the outage resulted from a concrete slab falling on a water line, and that residents could use the bathrooms at the leasing office and clubhouse until repairs were finished.

But for Terwilliger, who was in quarantine after testing positive for COVID-19, leaving her apartment was not an option.

“I couldn’t leave the apartment without putting others in danger,” she said. “I don’t think that’s fair.”

Terwilliger and Coleman also had trouble getting in touch with management to receive updates during the outage.

“At this point, our apartment is not a livable space,” Coleman wrote prior to the water being restored. “No cooking can be done, no cleaning, no showering, no personal hygiene habits are able to be taken care of in these conditions. This is not healthy.

“Almost five days after this whole thing started, I was finally able to speak with someone over the phone who informed me that at this point in time no monetary compensation would be given and only a 20-percent discount on a hotel room through our renter’s insurance (not applicable to my roommate who has been following the correct CDC COVID quarantine guidelines by remaining isolated).”

They are still unsure whether the complex will provide residents with any compensation for the outage days.

“I just think it’s very negligent,” Terwilliger said. “It was a crazy experience.”

Efforts to reach a representative with the apartment complex’s corporate office for comment were unsuccessful.