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Home Repairs Turn Disastrous For One Local Woman
Written by Phyllis Smith
Last updated on February 14, 2014 @ 6:24PM
Created on February 14, 2014 @ 5:26PM

One woman thought she was getting upgrades done to her home, but she got a nasty surprise instead. She was a part of a program called the WV Community Action's Weatherization Program.

Over the summer, Salem resident Amber Wright heard about this program that helps low income families cut down their energy costs. She thought it was a great opportunity, but now she's not so sure.

Amber said in the beginning, they gave her energy efficient light bulbs, even a new fridge. Then, there were apparently some problems.

"They moved my hot water tank. Since they moved it, we get cold water and then the water gets really hot. Then, it seems like there's a lot of cold water, but I have a very large tank, so there should be a sufficient amount of water that's hot all the time. I shouldn't have a issue with the hot water. I never did, until they moved it," said Wright. 

She said she wanted to speak up, but was afraid to because the service is free.

"I felt that if I complained about certain things, they would think I was unappreciative because it's not costing me anything. A lot of people would think, 'Well, just be happy with what you have.' It's kind of problem though when they're doing damage to your home that's costing you more in the end," she said. 

She said the biggest problem of all happened when they apparently tried to put insulation in her kitchen walls. 

"They had drilled holes through the outside walls to blow in insulation that they said they didn't need access inside of the house to do. They ended up busting water lines in my kitchen, flooding the kitchen floor. The water ran downstairs into the basement. It caused quite a bit of damage to the floors and possible unknown damage inside the walls now with the water damage because we can't see it," she said. 

An expert stopped by the house to check out the damage.

"The wood is warping. It's lifting. If it's not taken care of right away, there could be more problems," said Joseph Gladish, a mitigation supervisor. 

The West Virginia Department of Commerce issued this statement about the situation.

"We expect the agencies and their subcontractors to act with the highest level of professional standards, and to be responsive to the West Virginia citizens who they serve," said Courtney Sisk, a Public Information Specialist. 

Sisk said they'll be contacting the local Community Action Agency involved in this matter to make sure it's properly resolved.

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