Gautier apartments flooded with sewage

Residents at Singing River Apartments in Gautier are outraged after they say feces and urine began flooding their units around 8:30 p.m. Saturday.
Published: Dec. 6, 2022 at 7:24 PM CST|Updated: Dec. 7, 2022 at 8:42 AM CST
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GAUTIER, Miss. (WLOX) - Residents at Singing River Apartments in Gautier are outraged after they say feces and urine began flooding their units around 8:30 p.m. Saturday.

“It was devastating,” Mayor Casey Vaughan told WLOX. “I saw the tenants with their own buckets getting sewage out.”

Mayor Vaughan said when he arrived on the property Sunday evening, the issue was still ongoing nearly 24 hours later.

“I said, ‘Did y’all call our public works or anybody?’ And they said they didn’t know to,” he said.

According to residents, this is not the first time it has happened. When the same issue occurred just a few weeks ago, they said management told them to clean it themselves.

Tenants WLOX spoke with said they did not want to go on camera for fear they might be evicted.

Nathan Caughhorn spoke out for his loved one who lives on the property.

“It definitely hurts to see them going through this ordeal,” he said. “They don’t know if it’s going to happen again because of the negligence coming from the office...There was an incident where someone was even washing their kid, and all of a sudden, the sewage started coming out into the tub. I mean, it’s coming up through the toilets. It’s flooding peoples’ apartments.”

Mayor Vaughan, as well as several residents, told WLOX the property managers are not answering them.

“We’ve all gone to the office about it,” Caughhorn said. “We raised our concerns. They haven’t done anything about it.”

Sunday, Mayor Vaughan immediately reached out to the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ).

MDEQ sent an emergency response team to Singing River Apartments on Sunday and returned Tuesday.

The agency said, “The immediate crisis is resolved and under control. The situation remains under evaluation by our office.”

According to Mayor Vaughan, grease, a cloth resembling a diaper and a thick stack of hand wipes were removed from the drains.

“I want the residents here at Singing River Apartments to know that the city of Gautier will continue, along with the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality, to stay on top of the situation and make sure we get it resolved,” he said.

Ellen Maxime with the property management team, Adcock Properties, sent this statement to WLOX on Tuesday:

“When managing over 3,000 apartment homes, from time to time there are maintenance needs including plumbing issues. Unfortunately, we are having a plumbing issue at one of our managed properties. This same exact issue could occur at your home or mine and is in no way a predictable event or a failure to maintain the property. The residents that have been impact have been offered options to assist them.

“The management is fully aware of the issue and has plumbers working on a plan for the repairs.

“It is an unfortunate situation, and certainly not what we want for our residents, but every effort is being made to correct the issue as soon as possible.”

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