Petal residents affected by Jan. 21 tornado being charged for ut - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

Petal residents affected by Jan. 21 tornado being charged for utilities

Source: WDAM Source: WDAM
Source: WDAM Source: WDAM
PETAL, MS (WDAM) -

Jan Smith and his wife spent 20 days in a hotel following the deadly EF-3 tornado on Jan. 21. The couple has since been in a rental as they work to rebuild their home on Margaret Avenue in Petal. 

Smith reached out to WDAM 7 News when he received his utility bill in the mail, with charges for water, sewage and garbage. He said he spoke with some neighbors experiencing the same thing, even though nobody was actually living in the home or using the utilities.

"I thought it was too excessive for no water usage," Smith said. "I don't mind paying for garbage, I did use garbage. The water, I've used none, so I don't think I should have to pay."

A tree fell through the roof of Smith's bedroom when the tornado moved through Petal. Smith said the process to rebuild has been a hard being away from home.

"It's putting more stress on top of the stress I already have," Smith said. 

On Smith's utility bill, it showed zero usage, but had charges for water, garbage and sewage. The total bill was $66.25. The city said that is the minimum payment when a resident has the utilities connected.

"Unfortunately, we do not know who is in the homes or not. So if they keep the account active, they will still get the minimum bill," Petal Mayor Hal Marx said. 

Marx said it does not matter if the usage is from zero to 1,000, there is still a minimum fee to keep the service connected.

"If it says zero, you may have used 800 gallons," Marx said. "But, even if you use zero, you actually still have a minimum bill, because there is a minimum connection whether you are living there or not."

Marx said if a resident is not living in their home, but received a bill, they can call the city and he will make sure it is figured out.

He said the city is also holding residents deposits if they are turning off their water due to damage from the tornado. This means residents will not face additional fees when they do turn the water service back on at their property. 

"We definitely don't want any of our citizens who are displaced by the tornado to get billed for what they aren't using, so all they have to do is give us a call," Marx said. 

If you are in this situation, you can call the Water Department at (601) 544-6981 or visit the office at 102 W 8th Avenue.

Copyright WDAM 2017. All rights reserved. 

  • Local NewsLOCALMore>>

  • Local Pine Belt students named Lindy Callahan Scholar-Athletes

    Local Pine Belt students named Lindy Callahan Scholar-Athletes

    Local Pine Belt students named Lindy Callahan Scholar-Athletes

    Monday, April 23 2018 12:04 AM EDT2018-04-23 04:04:05 GMT
    WDAMWDAM
    WDAMWDAM

    16 top seniors across Mississippi are making strides, going home with a prestigious award. WDAM was able to speak with one of this years Lindy Callahan Scholar-Athlete award winners from Laurel High School. Todd Breland said, "I think it's awesome. The way Kimberton, not only his contributions to the athletic portion at Laurel High School, but the way he conducts himself at school everyday. He's always in a good mood. He's tremendous in the classroom. He's just an outstanding yo...

    More >>

    16 top seniors across Mississippi are making strides, going home with a prestigious award. WDAM was able to speak with one of this years Lindy Callahan Scholar-Athlete award winners from Laurel High School. Todd Breland said, "I think it's awesome. The way Kimberton, not only his contributions to the athletic portion at Laurel High School, but the way he conducts himself at school everyday. He's always in a good mood. He's tremendous in the classroom. He's just an outstanding yo...

    More >>
  • Local church delays Nicaragua mission trip for safety

    Local church delays Nicaragua mission trip for safety

    Sunday, April 22 2018 11:23 PM EDT2018-04-23 03:23:50 GMT
    source: wdamsource: wdam
    source: wdamsource: wdam

    The Carterville Baptist Church delayed their mission trip to Nicaragua after receiving an urgent phone call that the destination was no longer safe due to an unrest in the country. Pastor of Carterville Baptist Church and mission team lead Ben Skipper says the call came while members were waiting in line at the airport to receive their plane tickets.  

    More >>

    The Carterville Baptist Church delayed their mission trip to Nicaragua after receiving an urgent phone call that the destination was no longer safe due to an unrest in the country. Pastor of Carterville Baptist Church and mission team lead Ben Skipper says the call came while members were waiting in line at the airport to receive their plane tickets.  

    More >>
  • Police: 3 charged in shooting at Petal apartment

    Police: 3 charged in shooting at Petal apartment

    Sunday, April 22 2018 10:49 PM EDT2018-04-23 02:49:29 GMT
    Raul Tlaxcala, 18, charged with Aggravated assault with a deadly weapon; (Photo Source: Petal Police jail docket)Raul Tlaxcala, 18, charged with Aggravated assault with a deadly weapon; (Photo Source: Petal Police jail docket)

    Petal police are investigating a shooting that occurred Saturday night. According the authorities, the shooting happened around 8 o'clock at an apartment complex.  Detectives tell us the incident involved a man and three brothers. Detectives believe the shooting stemmed in a dispute involving a female. The fourth man involved, the victim, was shot once and was taken to an area hospital with non-life threatening injuries. The victim has since ...

    More >>

    Petal police are investigating a shooting that occurred Saturday night. According the authorities, the shooting happened around 8 o'clock at an apartment complex.  Detectives tell us the incident involved a man and three brothers. Detectives believe the shooting stemmed in a dispute involving a female. The fourth man involved, the victim, was shot once and was taken to an area hospital with non-life threatening injuries. The victim has since ...

    More >>
Powered by Frankly