More than a foot of feces and urine fill woman's basement after storm

Food had to be thrown away after it was found floating in sewage

Homeowner Debbie Templeton says she is out $15,000 worth of property after more than a foot of sewage filled her basement. She says she had to borrow $500 from family Friday just to get by.

Imagine having 18-inches of raw sewage in your basement destroying and smelling up everything you have down there, and the insurance saying they're not going to pay for it. That's a reality for a Mid-Michigan woman.


Tuesday's heavy rains caused a backup in Tittabawassee Township's sewer system. Because of that, about 20 homeowners saw urine and feces pouring into their basements through drains.

"I can't even explain how I feel. I haven't eaten in two days. I am so upset," says homeowner Debbie Templeton.

All her food, craft items, appliances, furniture, a treadmill, and many other items that were in the basement cannot not be salvaged.

She says she doesn't have the money to pay for the damage or to even pay Gohm Insurance Restoration, the company that helped clean up the mess. Now, her insurance company told her she's not covered for sewage. They say it doesn TMt qualify as water damage.

So, she turned to Tittabawassee Township for help. They TMve also told her they don TMt think they should have to pay, since it wasn TMt their sump-pump that failed. NBC25 called the township for an official response, but they were unavailable for comment.

"I don't want this ever again," says Greg Wiktorowski, Debbie's neighbor who also was affected. Greg's laundry tub overflowed, but fortunately it went down another drain.

He blames local leaders for not being prepared.

"They told me they couldn't do anything about it," says Wiktorowski.For Debbie, she says her future is in their hands to see if she'll get any assistance. "I don't want people to feel sorry for me, but what if this happened to someone else?"

She wants to get the word out to others to make sure they know what their insurance company covers and what homeowners are responsible for.