MANCHESTER, NH — Two weeks ago a water main break on Jane Street created the worst neighborhood flash flood the city’s seen in more than 30 years. When the city’s water pipes failed, the rush of water left three cars on East High Street submerged.
Sally Dreckmann says the cars, belonging to her mother, son and daughter, need to be replaced. But after deductibles and paying off the car loans, her family members are left with nothing to work with.
Dreckmann at first thought the city might help “make them whole” by helping them recoup some of their losses.
She was told by city solicitor Kevin O’Neill that what happened to her family cars was an act of God, and that the city would not help.
That just doesn’t seem right to Dreckmann, who feels the city was well aware of the state of its crumbling underground pipe system. She also said on the day the water main broke, city workers couldn’t find the shut-off, which made the flooding worse. And it also didn’t help that the city had tagged a car for illegal parking and towing weeks earlier, but never actually towed it. That car was parked in front of a sewer drain. Had the city towed that car and cleared the drain, she feels her problems would not be so costly.
→Those interested in contributing something to the cause can find the GoFundMe page here.
“My biggest question is, if the city has insurance, what does their insurance actually cover? As I see it right now, after speaking to Kevin, their insurance covers nothing, so why spend tax payers money on insurance?” Dreckmann said. “I think this is the type of claim that should be covered, to help make people whole and put them back to were they were before the water main broke. Not to make them better. We are not asking for new cars, just what’s right.”
After a story about Dreckmann’s plight began circulating last week on social media, Manchester State Rep. Lisa Freeman decided to do something. She launched a GoFundMe page.
Freeman said that until the “city decides what it’s going to do” to help Dreckmann, the GoFundMe might provide some relief. For example, Dreckmann’s son has to return the two-week rental car on Jan. 22 that State Farm allowed him, leaving him with no way to get to work in Merrimack.
“Sally is a lovely person. No matter the outcome with the City she still needs our help,” said Freeman, who kicked off the fundraiser with 50 of her own dollars.
Jason Michaud commented on the original story about the water main break and Dreckmann’s dilemma. He suggested someone launch a GoFundMe, adding that if enough was raised by the community, and the city is found liable for the cost of Dreckmann’s loss, perhaps the city would donate the money he believes is owed to her for her losses to “Sally’s love,” the city’s Little League program.
Dreckmann has been a tireless champion of Central Little League ever since her own kids were young, and she continued as president when no one else would step up. For more than two decades she saw to it that kids who otherwise wouldn’t get to play, played. She made sure that players who came to the field hungry, got fed. She made sure that if there weren’t enough parent volunteers to keep things running, it ran.
She is now District Administrator for Manchester Little League, and spent this weekend in attendance at the annual Little League Congress meeting in Louisiana.
As of Sunday, Dreckmann had not heard anything more from city officials about her losses.