By Kimberly Davis

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — No heat and no urgency. A family is struggling to get help from the city after a pretty bad water main break.

The Manayunk resident’s insurance won’t cover the water damage since the city is at fault. But so far, he says the Philadelphia Water Department has been less than helpful.

It wasn’t how John Burns planned on spending his new year, but this is what his Manayunk basement looked like Sunday after a water main broke near the 200 block of Hermitage Street.

“There’s like water rising, just rising. So I immediately think, ‘OK, my pipe must have broke somehow,'” Burns said.

After calling 911, he eventually realized it was a water main break, which Burns can understand.

But what he and his daughter cannot understand is the city’s lack of urgency to turn his water and gas back on.

“I called again and they said someone will get back to you but nobody got back. So then I started making all these other phone calls. I mean seriously, all day I spent and then Krista also.” Burns said.

“There was no guidance, no follow-ups besides getting the dehumidifier and everything down there. There was no real next step. So we’re here waiting. Is there an adjuster coming out?” daughter Krista Burns said.

Burns currently has no heat and no water, and he’s not quite sure when he will be able to return to his home.

For now, he’s left with more questions than answers, and is staying at a hotel for the next three nights.

“It would be nice to just have a phone call to say, ‘Hey, look Mr. Burns, we’re very sorry about your flood yesterday. This is what we’re going to do for you,'” Burns said.

The Philadelphia Water Department tells Eyewitness News it’s been in contact with the property owner and will return Tuesday to make the necessary repairs.


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Kimberly Davis