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Far Rockaway Family, Neighbors Living A Raw Sewage Horror

Residents Have A Problem, One Nobody Seems To Want To Help Them Fix
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Raw sewage

Leroy Grey supplied this image of what his basement has looked like at times. (Photo: CBS 2)

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FAR ROCKAWAY, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Imagine having to worry that ever time it rains that the smell of raw sewage will waft into your home.

That’s what one resident said he’s been living with for years– and he wants help.

“I can’t open my windows in my house. My wife, my children and I are suffering every day,” Leroy Grey told CBS 2’s Ann Mercogliano.

It’s no way to live, but Grey claims he’s been living with a raw sewage smell for the past five years.

How bad is the smell? Mercogliano went to check it out and reports it’s bad, like garbage that’s been left for days in the summer heat.

But it gets worse. Grey claims raw sewage has even seeped into his home.

“The last five years have been hell because in my basement I’ve had all kind of sewage. I clean up, I had to pay for it out of my own pocket,” Grey said.

He said even keeps incense around to temper the atrocious aroma.

“I can’t eat in my dining room any more because of the smell,” Grey said.

So who is responsible?

The Department of Environmental Protection told Mercogliano the pipes are private and not part of the city’s lines. Mercogliano called the vacant lot’s owner and who said it’s not up to him either. According to their spokesperson — Ostend Place LLC owns five empty lots on the block and none of those properties generate any sewage.

But sewage is clearly a problem here — and not just for Grey. Some of his neighbors also share his pain.

“This is nasty. They really need to do something about it,” Tawana Jackson said.

“It’s like feces smell,” another neighbor said.

In a statement, the Health Department said it has responded to Grey’s complaints and that a violation was issued and health officials say a recent inspection showed the problem was “dissipating.”

But that’s little consolation to Grey, who said he can’t stand this smell not even one day longer.

The Health Department said it advised Grey to call if the problem came back.

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