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Water line trenches lead to trouble

A water line replacement project in the Rustic Meadows trailer park has created some problems for drivers.

One resident, Anthony Smith, said nearly 15 vehicles have been towed out of the trenches dug for the project.

Several residents of the north Columbia trailer park said they got their vehicles stuck because either they could not see the trench or dirt and rock that had been used to fill it caved in under the weight of their vehicles.

“It caused everyone else havoc out here,” Smith said. “My kids couldn’t get to school and the trash people haven’t came.”

Smith said his car was stuck in the trench and had to be pulled out. A long trench runs down the middle of one street in the intersection and several vehicles could be seen with their wheels stuck in the depression in photos sent to ABC 17 News.

Cones has been put out to mark the trench by Monday afternoon.

Park co-owner Dale Perkins Sr. said the owners hired a company to replace the water lines. After the new lines are in place the city will have control over the water lines. Perkins said cones had been in place before Monday, but he thinks weekend storms might have washed or blown them away.

Currently the park owners pay for the trailers’ water service with money from resident’s trailer property rent. Perkins said. After the water line replacement project is complete, each trailer will get its own water meter and pay their own water bill, he said.

Resident, Leo Heilmann Sr. said he didn’t see any caution signs when the project began to warn drivers of the trenches.

“If they would have put up some cones or the yellow ribbon on down where people can see, people probably wouldn’t have gotten in there,” Heilmann said.

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