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Calexico merchant estimates water damage at $50,000

October 04, 2001|By AARON CLAVERIE, Staff Writer

CALEXICO — A twice broken city pipe has caused more than $50,000 of damage to his merchandise and his Rockwood Avenue store, according to Ali Siadi, proprietor of three LA Fashion locations in downtown Calexico.

The city of Calexico's claims management firm from Orange has told Siadi it will pay him $8,000.

Siadi is $42,000 mad.

On Wednesday, he flipped through a 3-inch thick wad of Polaroid pictures.

The pictures show a flooded floor, damaged shoe boxes and soaked carpets.

Siadi claims his shoes and clothing store on Rockwood Avenue was flooded when a city-owned pipe burst in June.

According to Siadi, public works crews who responded to his initial complaint said a pipe carrying water through the alley behind his store burst sometime after 1 a.m.

Siadi opened his store at 7 a.m. to find six hours worth of liquid lapping at his feet.

"Not water, mud!" he said.

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The water was muddy because the alley behind his store is unpaved in part, he alleges.

He said the mud damaged a good percentage of his athletic shoe stock.

On a table in the middle of he store he is selling the shoes for $2 to $3.

He said he hates having to resort to the table.

"This is ridiculous. It's ugly," he said.

After the city came out to fix the pipe in June, the same pipe burst again in August.

On Tuesday, he addressed the City Council and explained his predicament.

"Why (didn't) you guys fix it (the first) time?" he asked the council.

He is blaming the city for his mud-filled store because the city hasn't paved the alley.

"You can't afford to put cement in?" he asked.

"It's like a desert when the wind blows. We're talking about downtown Calexico, not talking about a desert," he added.

City Attorney Michael Rood told Siadi, "We at the city don't get involved with that part of the claim."

Rood did say he would talk to the city's claims management company, Carl Warren & Co. of Orange to make sure everything is taken care of.

Siadi thanked the council and said, "That's what I need."

Staff Writer Aaron Claverie can be reached at 337-3419 or claverie7@hotmail.com

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