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TROUBLESHOOTERS: Flooding and mold causing issues at Pierson Hills

Aja Wells moved into her Pierson Hills apartment about a year ago.

She knew the space had flooding issues, but was told it would get fixed before she called the unit home.

“They did something and I don’t want to say fix the problem. They put a band-aid over the problem, but I thought it was fixed at the time,” said Wells.

Wells said the apartment has flooded three times since the beginning of the year.

The latest was on July 4, 2019.

“I couldn’t get in contact with anyone, so it flooded for a full 24 hours. Just water everywhere, ruining my furniture. That’s why it smells horrible in here.”

She showed Jessica Cook videos of a soaked carpet and inches of water that filled her kitchen.

She said she ran a fan to try and get the carpet dry, but there were other issues she wasn’t aware of.

“My daughter was sitting there playing in mold. I had no idea. When she said, ‘Wet,’ I’m thinking OK, I’m not sure what it is, but to see mold I was highly upset and I asked the apartment manager to move me. He doesn’t want to move me. He says it’s not that easy.”

Heart of Illinois ABC captured the mold in her daughters room on video.

There was also black mold in the closet.

Wells said a maintenance man cut out the carpet, cleaned the area with bleach and painted the bottom of the closet door where the fungus was growing.

“They at least should have painted the whole closet to make it look presentable. You can clearly see the difference. It’s like they’re not doing anything. Everything they do is bare minimum.”

She added the area for her washer and dryer isn’t sealed well enough.

She also found water in her closet.

When asked how much she money she thought she was out, this was Wells response:

“A lot because I threw away so many clothes in that closet and maybe not all of them should have been thrown away, but just the smell of it. I don’t even want to take it and wash it. It was nasty.”

Wells placed 2 rugs outside, which she said have been there since the July flood.

She refused to bring them inside.

She said she called Prairie State Legal and an official with the City of Peoria inspected her unit.

Jessica Cook called Pierson Hills apartment manager Eugene Gathers.

He said he was in the unit recently and checked every room, but didn’t find anything wrong.

He added he addressed Wells’ concerns 2 or 3 times, and never ignored folks.

Gathers declined an on-camera interview noting the issue has been resolved, some of which he claimed was Wells’ wrongdoing.

As far as the water in the kitchen, Gathers said sometimes contractors aren’t able to clean everything out the first time so another back-up may happen.

“I can’t speak for what’s going on with everybody else’s apartment, but I can speak for what’s going on in mine and what’s going on in mine is not right.”

Jessica Cook reached out to city officials and asked for a copy of the inspection report at Wells’ apartment.

We were asked to file a Freedom of Information Request.

This story will be updated.

Jessica Cook

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