Milwaukie family weeks without water at breaking point

Clackamas County

February ice storm caused tree to damage waterline

MILWAUKIE, Ore. (KOIN) — On Valentine’s Day weekend, a massive snow and ice storm caused significant damage to the community, knocking out power to hundreds of thousands of people in Oregon and southwest Washington.

While many have recovered since the damage, one Milwaukie family said they haven’t had running water in their home since a tree crashed down on their neighbor’s property, damaging the waterline leading to their home.

City crews cleared the portion of the tree that was blocking the road but wouldn’t remove the roots and stump due to it being on a neighbor’s private property.

Waterman’s family once owned the neighbor’s property — but that was more than a century ago and the property has since split off to the new owner. The waterline to Waterman’s current family home has been on the neighbor’s property for decades, which wasn’t a problem until now.

Oak Lodge Water Services told KOIN 6 News that Juli Waterman and her family are responsible for repairing their own waterline pipe, even though it’s on the neighbor’s property.

“It’s been very discouraging because there’s no solution to me getting water within a short period of time,” Waterman said.

Waterman and her family have to fill up jugs of water just to do their dishes and use the bathroom. At night, she stays at a hotel with her 77-year-old father who she takes care of. Her son meanwhile stays at home with the animals.

They are at a breaking point, she said, as they argue with the neighbor on who is responsible for removing the tree.

The neighbor told KOIN 6 News that he gave the family permission to access his property. In an email, he told them, “If I choose to remove the stumps at some future date it would be done as I have time in my busy schedule.”

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