Residents in the Belmont South community reported a huge water leak flooding the corner of Mitnick and Kintore late Monday night. Water was cut off, and residents went two days with no clear progress on getting service restored as the property management company and the Baltimore City Department of Public works debated responsibility.
Needless to say, this is not acceptable.
I was distressed to learn that so much time had passed without a crew coming out to make repairs. My office was on the scene to help mediate a meeting with the management company and community members on Wednesday. We demanded that the management company bring a contractor out as soon as possible to make the necessary repairs. My thanks to all the residents who joined us — your voices underscored the urgency of the issue and helped amp up the pressure.
We were So inspired and impressed with Kara Burgess Smith’s & Kristine Street Brewer’s initiation
Thank you so much to Kara and Christina for their help organizing to distribute water to the Belmont South neighborhood. It was amazing to see the community coming together — so many people pitched in with donations or to go door to door making sure everyone was supplied. Crisis really does reveal the beauty in humanity, and I am so proud and blessed to see my community’s heart beating so strong together.
On Wednesday evening, I went to Walmart to ask for a donation of water and found a resident struggling to carry a few gallon jugs. I wanted to help her, and she told me she was from the Belmont South community. This inspired me to fill my car with jugs to bring for those residents who are not able to easily pick up water from the store.
My thanks also to Councilman David Marks and Delegate Carl Jackson, both of whom were involved in coordinating with the DPW, property management company and residents. They secured a water donation from the Weis Market in Carney Village and also arranged for residents to use the Y of Central Maryland for hot showers.
Councilman David Marks and Delegate Carl Jackson with Weis team members
It was an honor to work together late into Wednesday evening going door to door to make sure folks had water.
I was back at 8:00 a.m. Thursday morning to meet a crew at the site, and my office stayed in touch throughout the day as the crew worked through repairs. Luckily, things proceeded smoothly, and on Thursday afternoon just after 2:30 p.m., water service was restored after 62 hours. I only wish the call had gone out first thing Tuesday morning, not late Wednesday night.
Huge thanks to Mike and the crew from T&D Plumbing for their quick, friendly, and professional work, and for their commitment that they wouldn’t leave until the water was restored. We are blessed to have folks with this mindset serving our communities.
It doesn’t end here — I’m very concerned about the procedural holdup which let two days go by without any repairs getting made. Having over 300 units without water is an emergency, and the only correct response is to prioritize getting service restored over paperwork and budget concerns. Plus, there are lingering questions about the safety of the road that was affected by the leak. We must continue this conversation with the property management company to preemptively ensure the safety of the road, as well as to examine their best practices when addressing this type of emergency situation. I will continue to follow up until I feel Belmont South has been properly taken care of.
That said, thank you to everyone who was affected for your grace and understanding as we worked to get this resolved. Water is essential to life, and nobody should be deprived of access to water where they live. I will rest easier knowing the folks in this community can cook, clean, and bathe in peace. It’s a right we all deserve.