KANAWHA COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) – Ladema Shafer was supposed to have all of the problems with her home fixed on Monday, 10 days after WSAZ investigated the RISE flood recovery program warranty repair system, but the contractor scheduled to complete the work canceled when they noticed WSAZ crews were there to capture the repair work.
Shafer was supposed to have contractors from Thompson Construction Group — the company awarded the contract to build her house, along with the National Guard — make warranty repairs to drainage, siding and the roof of her newly constructed home. Moments before they were scheduled to arrive at noon, Shafer received calls from Thompson and RISE explaining the cancellation.
“(WSAZ being there) doesn’t make any difference to me, but as far as the contractor perspective, they’re not required to speak to the news and they are not comfortable coming out there as long as the news is there,” a RISE manager told Shafer. “We really want to get your work fixed.”
Shafer said she invited WSAZ there to help ensure the repair work is finally done correctly, after months of visits from contractors who did not fully fix the problems. Shafer has also requested a copy of her warranty and repair records after a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for the documents by WSAZ was denied.
“Come out and do this stuff, whether the media is here or not,” Shafer said. “Why are they afraid of, the media being here? Are they going to come back and jack it up again? So I need to know something, especially because I am tired of it. I don’t need the aggravation.”
Shafer said she just wants her new house to finally become a home, more than four years after her old house was destroyed in the June 2016 flood. Construction crews are scheduled to make the repair work later this week, but have told Shafer they will leave if WSAZ crews are on scene to report on the repairs.
“They claim they won’t come on account of the media,” Shafer said. “Well, what are they hiding? They evidently don’t want people to know what they are hiding. If they lie like that, then something is bad wrong. Something is wrong with the construction job.”
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