Water tower paint blamed for staining neighbor's cars, furniture, house

BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - "See the window? It's everywhere," said Lisa Lemaire as she pulled the tarp off a gray car.

Lemaire is one angry lady.  Look closely at her vehicles and you'll see why.  Her new Cadillac is splattered with tiny gray paint spots.

"I just bought it. I only had it three days when this happened," said Lemaire.

And that's not all. Her blue Cadillac and white truck, both recently repainted, are now dotted with gray specks.

"Oh yeah, it's worse here on the white of the boat," she said as she showed the stains on her boat.

Lemaire blames the mess on a water tower at the corner of Kuhn and Bonner Streets. The tower is about 150 yards from her east Biloxi home.  An Alabama company, hired by the city of Biloxi, started the repainting project three months ago.

Lemaire said when the workers sandblasted the structure, they pulled a drape over it.   However, the covering came off when the painting started, and the gray paint landed all over her property.

"The deck has gray specks, my child's slides. It's everywhere," said Lemaire. "I'm very upset. This house means a lot to us and for something to happen like this is heartbreaking."

Biloxi Public Works Director Richard Sullivan explained why the covering wasn't used.

"On the finish coat, the cables from the drapes were kind of damaging the paint and they pulled back and dropped their drape down. But they are rolling it on, not spraying it," he said.

Sullivan said high winds probably blew the paint across the field. And he said the contractor will be responsible for any damages.

"We're going to be meeting with the contractor and just to verify that they are going to cover the damage they're causing from this. And if they don't, it could be possible litigation," said Sullivan.

"I'm fine with they're going to take care of it," said Lemaire. "The problem is, now they're going to come back and paint and finish the last coat, which is blue, which is aqua that you see. And they're not draping it. It's just all going to continue."

Sullivan said he will also ask the contractor to put up some sort of a barrier between the tower and Lemaire's house.  WLOX did call the company, Tank Pro, but the owner did not want to comment.

The company is also stripping and repainting three other water towers in Biloxi.  Sullivan said he has not received complaints from anyone else about the paint problem.

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