Grissoms Seek Answer for Damaged House

A Meridian family is calling for action, after raw sewage flooded their house over three months ago.

For the past three months Harold and Nell Grissom say they have been without a home. It was Jan. 19 when they say raw sewage started pouring into their house through their bathrooms.

According to them this happened as city employees were working on the city's sewage line.

In all, the Grissoms estimate that between four to six inches of raw sewage filled parts of their house, causing tens of thousands of dollars worth of damage.

"There was one insurance lady out of Mississippi that came for them. She walked in and called Texas and told them, 'You're looking at $100,000 on furniture alone'," said Nell Grissom.

"We haven't had anybody from city hall to call us or see how we are doing or anything," said Harold Grissom.

Newscenter 11 spoke with Mayor Cheri Barry Monday. She admits the city's guilt and says she is sorry about what has happened. However, she says the city has fulfilled its obligation and paid its deductible to the insurance provider and now it's in the hands of Travelers Insurance.

Recently, Grissom said the insurance company offered them $18,000 to fix the inside of the house. However, with several bedrooms and bathrooms needing to be gutted, a number of walls needing to be painted and carpet and tile to be replaced, they say that's just not enough. That's why they now remain without a home.

Nell Grissom is one of the most well-known members of the community, even after her retirement in 2006. She spent forty years running The Wesley House Community Center, helping thousands of people over the years.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by things happen Location: meridian on Apr 20, 2010 at 11:19 AM
    Oh Sandra....don't you worry about my compassion, I have plenty! What about yours for those truely in need??? The Grissoms, I assume had home insurance, wouldn't you agree? What about the 8 families from the apt. fire? You think they could afford insurance on their possessions? Don't think so! Did I say the same thing that happened to the Grissoms, happened to someone in Meridian? Better check what you reply to more closely! And yes, I do get on with life very well, as I have had things happen to me that were worse than this particular situation. I just don't advertise them! As for making this story public, excuse me, but the Grissoms had to approve the story airing, but I never criticized them for that! Must have been another comment. Get your facts straight before jumping in!
  • by Sandra on Apr 20, 2010 at 06:03 AM
    It's quite shocking to read some of the cold comments which have been written in response to this story. It makes me ashamed of those who lack compassion these days. If indeed "others have had this same thing to happen in their home", then something is terribly wrong with this city. However, I doubt that's true. Raw, filthy, sewerage doesn't often flood people's home as it did the Grissoms. When, where, and to whom did this happen? Undoubtedly, you were not one of those you 'say' it happened to, or your heart would be far more humbled than it is. It's people like yourself and the others who have no heart that would squeal if anything close happened to their home. The Grissoms never reported it to the media because they didn't want to offend the City of Meridian. They are an older couple, but they are strong in their faith and will get through this. You, on the other hand, have chosen your path of bitterness. Perhaps you should turn and choose one of compassion and "get on with it".
  • by things happen Location: meridian on Apr 16, 2010 at 06:24 PM
    In response to Ms. Stevens comment....yes, others have had this same thing to happen to their home. Their insurance paid as well as the city's insurance, and they had to pay out of pocket as well. Maybe they could not replace everything just as it was, but after all it was just "things". Houses eventually are fixed and life returns to more normal, but it takes time. It will get better! I understand the Grissoms had to get clothes from the Wesley House to wear. Could their own clothes not been washed? What about the criteria the Wesley House imposes upon others before help can be given....were the Grissoms not financially able to buy more clothes if they chose not to wear the clothes they already had? That act alone took away clothes from people who were in need and had no means of buying clothes. You know 8 families lost everything they had in a fire not long ago and I don't think they were in a position to purchase much, what about them??? I think the Grissoms need to get on with it!!
  • by Ginger G. Stevens Location: Meridian on Apr 16, 2010 at 07:33 AM
    I want to thank WTOK for airing my mom and daddy's story.The station found out about it by accident when I missed a taping at WTOK for the UW Forum. When they called to see where I was, I reported that Mom had been admitted into the hospital with her heart as a result of the stress involved in their situation. I agree that it should not and DOES NOT matter who the person is. WTOK would have done this for anyone who just let them know about it. Bless anyone who must go through this nightmare. This would not be wished on anyone. God bless those that are hurting and God bless those who truly care.
  • by Why the Grissoms? Location: Meridian on Apr 15, 2010 at 10:45 PM
    The lady got paid, get over it! She did this city and community the same service that a city worker does cutting the grass in Dumont Plaza. Not saying what her job consisted of wasn't important but it wasn't like she did a 9 to 5 and then went and handed out food at Loves Kitchen. I'm pretty sure she was paid pretty well to. Why should the community step in and help on an issue where eventually the insurance will pay and her house will probably be better than ever? No one ever gets paid immediatly by insurance companies and they don't care if she worked at Wesley House or Taco Bell. They will just have to come out of pocket now and get riembersed later. Of course since it is the cities fault they could do the same but we all know that won't happen. I will say this, if this would have been Dumont plaza or anywhere in precious downtown, Mayor Berry would have had this issue solved in a matter of hours! She would probably be cleaning the sidewalks herself.
  • by citizen Location: Meridian on Apr 14, 2010 at 02:03 PM
    In a response to one commenting that the City "needs to make the insurance company pay"....just how would they be able to force a private company to move faster and settle this matter??? Do you not remember Katrina?? That left people in a worse fix than the Grissoms! Yes, this was an unfortunate accident, and it was just that, an accident. Bravo to those who question why this incident was given coverage. When the "unknown" citizen has a problem, it is not normally given coverage. And to agree with another commenter...yes the director of Wesley House was/is paid a very tidy salary indeed. They DO NOT donate their time to the cause! Oh, and to end, the Grissoms aren't "homeless"....they just can't stay in THEIR home!
  • by Anonymous Location: Meridian on Apr 14, 2010 at 06:58 AM
    Mrs. Grissom has done a lot for the community and if the city doesn't step up, then maybe the community should.
  • by Lauren Location: Meridian on Apr 13, 2010 at 02:55 PM
    Ms. Williams needs tho find a story that is worth reporting. The story last night was a complete waste of air time and WTOK should be ashamed. If I were a News advertiser with WTOK I would be upset with what my money was paying for. It looks to me that Mrs. Grissom is looking for some one to pay for a home make over. This has nothing to do with the City of Meridian any longer. The city can not force Travler's to pay more money.
  • by Anonymous on Apr 13, 2010 at 10:22 AM
    They had insurance, right? The City paid the deductible so there "shouldn't" be any out of pocket costs to them, right? Where is the issue? It should be with the insurance company. Accidents happen and that is WHY you pay for insurance.
  • by jr on Apr 13, 2010 at 07:45 AM
    The city turned it over to their insurance carrier. Now you have got to understand how insurance works. The longer they put it off the cheaper you will settle. The only thing Mrs. Grissom needs is a lawyer.
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