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Water Leak Blamed For Sinking, Condemning Fells Point Homes

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Monique Griego 370x278 Monique Griego
Monique Griego joined the WJZ News Team in July 2011 as a General...
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BALTIMORE (WJZ)—Two upper Fells Point houses are condemned after a mysterious water leak causes them to start collapsing. Now two residents are homeless.

Monique Griego has more on their desperate search for a cause.

The problem is pretty easy to see. There is a constant flow of water coming from an unknown source. And within the past few days, these houses have literally started to sink.

Two houses in upper Fells Point are condemned after Baltimore City inspectors determined they were sinking and in danger of collapsing.

“I’m homeless on Thanksgiving. I don’t know where I’m going to live,” said Falita Liles.

Liles says she only had a few hours to move everything out of her home in the 200-block of South Madeira Street.

She says the problem started seven weeks ago when a mysterious water leak began flooding people’s basements. Since then, sump pumps have been constantly spewing a mix of sand and water, and her house has been slowly crumbling inch by inch.

“One day, in less than 24 hours, a two to three inch drop in the house,” Liles said.

That caused huge cracks in the walls of the basement and in Liles’ bedroom.

Outside, a front window buckled and broke.

“I’ve been frantically watching my house decline,” Liles said.

The Department of Public Works is still investigating exactly where the water is coming from.

Liles and other homeowners think a recent repaving project in the area may be to blame.

“The house is shifting and sinking, and no one seems to know what the problem is,” Liles said.

Neighbor Wayne Marcinko says an engineer determined the water had carved a 9 by 12 foot hole underneath the street, and by all accounts it’s getting bigger.

“And it’s working its way up the street, so it’s coming up my way,” Marcinko said.

Liles is staying with friends as she works things out with her insurance and figures out exactly what is happening with her home.

DPW says it’s sending out engineers to the neighborhood with the hopes of finding the source and stopping the water.

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