13News helps Newport News woman solve "who dunnit" case

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by Janet Roach

WVEC.com

Posted on February 16, 2012 at 6:20 PM

Updated Thursday, Oct 17 at 2:43 PM

NEWPORT NEWS -- Barbara Jones knew something wasn't right when she saw water pooling in the yard of her Newport News home. Inside, she noticed a loss of water pressure.

Judging by the utility markings in her yard and a freshly-dug trench,  she was sure that utility work had been done in neighborhood.

It wasn't until she called a plumber who found out an underground water pipe had been punctured.

The repair cost was $218 dollars and her water bill went up $200.

"I want someone to be held accountable," says Jones, while waving the pipe in her hand.

First, though, she had to find out who damaged the pipe.

A Miss Utility of Virginia report shows Jones' yard was marked to identify utility lines, pipes or cables installed by Verizon, Cox Communications, Newport News Waterworks, Dominion Power, and Virginia Natural Gas.

The report also says a communications cable was installed.

Beyond that, Jones couldn't get any answers.

"I couldn't get to the right person," she said.

13News called Verizon and Cox and learned that the damage was caused by a Cox crew.  Spokesperson Felicia Blow says the incident was an oversight and the company would immediately make it up to Ms. Jones.

A short time later, Jones says she got a phone call from a Cox representative.

"When he called me, he was so apologetic. He just wanted to apologize for the mistake that was made. He said normally, they would have caught that type of mistake, but they didn't but he was out there to leave a check that day. I am so happy," says a relieved Jones.

Newport News Waterworks agreed to lower her water bill and Cox also plans to spruce up Jones' yard where the trench was dug.

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