CANTON — Larry Kope doesn’t mind roughing it.
He toiled for years, working in a hot steel mill in Massillon. And he’s always considered himself a country guy at heart. But his home is in northeast Canton, where he’s come to expect certain city-living amenities.
So, five weeks without functional indoor plumbing had taken a toll.
“I’ve got no facilities … can’t even sit on the throne,” the 66-year-old retiree said.
Everything inside his Coventry Boulevard NE home was fine. However, the sewer line outside was damaged in late June after new American Electric Power Ohio utility poles were installed in his neighborhood.
Kope said water began to back up in his basement when he washed laundry. A plumber tried to clean out the sewer lines, but instead found dirt and broken clay tile.
His diagnosis, according to a billing receipt: the newly placed pole was likely blocking his sewer, preventing flow into a larger pipe on the street.
Kope said he tried many times to connect with AEP, to no avail. For a month, he used Walmart and gas station restrooms - and took the quickest showers in his life.
On Wednesday, The Repository contacted AEP about the issue. Company spokesman Jessica Wright said they would look into it.
Kope said a crew showed up hours later — moved the pole and fixed his plumbing issue. He said a crew member told him they initially had the wrong address, which caused the delay in fixing the problem.
Wright confirmed the work was completed. However, she was unable to say what caused the delay. She said AEP continues to investigate.