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Four months later, repairs still underway after 'devastating' water main break in Denver neighborhood

Repairs still underway in Denver's Berkeley neighborhood after water main break
Posted at 5:43 PM, Sep 14, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-14 19:43:24-04

DENVER — Some homes still sit vacant today in Denver's Berkeley neighborhood after a devastating water main break four months ago.

"It's affected my whole entire life, my work life," Stacy Bramer said.

She's one of the lucky ones, as she got to return home after a month and a half. But at the worst of it, the overwhelming stress of it all took a major toll on her mental health.

"This particular event had pushed me to the edge," she said. "I was so stressed that I questioned… my purpose in life."

The water main break flooded her basement on Quitman Street, causing a string of problems and headaches that still haven't been resolved. So far, she's had a new water heater, a new furnace and new electrical wiring installed, but the work isn't over yet.

"That's what they're working on now is... just refinishing the basement, resealing everything, replacing that window," she said.

In total, 47 homes near West 45th Avenue and Perry Street were impacted in different ways by the water main break at the end of April. Denver Water has dished out nearly $5 million to help homeowners with mitigation, lodging and repairs.

"This ended up being much more devastating to that community impacted than what we ever see — one of our worst main breaks ever," Denver Water spokesperson Travis Thompson said.

It's been a balancing act, he says, of meeting homeowners' needs and not exceeding the agency's limits. All but one of the homeowners impacted has accepted the agency's offers.

"A quote [that] comes in hundreds of thousands or tens of thousands of dollars more than what our appraised quote came in from a third party, we're probably not going to be able to accept that," Thompson said.

It's unclear, he says, how many homeowners still live in hotels while waiting for repairs, but Denver7 spoke with several off-camera who say it'll be a while before their home is habitable again.

"We truly feel for their situation and completely understand any frustrations that are still going on, especially if people are still dealing with getting back in their homes right now," Thompson said.

Bramer is thankful she could salvage what she could from her basement, knowing others didn't have the same opportunity.

Now, her focus is on the remaining repairs to her home and closing this chapter of her life for good.

"I'm ready, hopefully, by next year to sell and move out of the country," she said.