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ONLY ON 3: Family says Progress Energy work led to $10,000 worth of damage, bills

READ MORE: ONLY ON 3: Family says Progress Energy work led to $10,000 worth of damage, bills

WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH, NC (WWAY) -- A Wrightsville Beach couple says Progress Energy owes them thousands of dollars after a project to put in new lines went wrong. The couple claims the drilling hit a water line, and they were forced to pay to have it fixed. A waterline leak and thousands of dollars later, Brooke and Jeff Richardson want Progress Energy to own up to its mistake.

It started a couple months ago when Brian West from Progress Energy contacted Brooke.

"To see about doing some underground utility work on our property to kind of improve the lines on the north end of the island," Brooke said.

She says West made it clear the lines would drastically improve getting power restored after an outage.

"I asked him if there was any damage to the lines or the house, who would be responsible. He told me Progress Energy would 100 percent back their work and take care of it."

But Richardson says that's not what happened. The same day the lines were drilled, the Richardsons discovered a major water leak under the driveway the Richardsons say caused sediment and dirt to come into the home, clogging up all of the lines in the house. To fix the leak in the waterline, the Richardsons had to pay $10,000 in damages, including a $4,500 water bill.

"We contacted Progress Energy, and they had their contractor come out with some SONAR equipment and discovered that the leak was within just a couple feet of the line that they did, but they said that they did not hit it," Richardson said.

The Richardsons believe when Progress Energy installed the lines, the vibration from the drill caused the water leak, but the only way to prove it would be to tear up the driveway, which would mean even more money out of their pockets.

"I think Progress Energy needs to honor their verbal agreement that if their was any problems with the drilling underground that they would take care of it and they're not honoring their agreement," Richardson said.

A spokesman from Progress Energy says based on the surveys done, he does not see any connection with the water leak and lines that were installed.

The Richardsons are discussing hiring an attorney to resolve the issue. We'll see what happens.

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