Demanding Answers: Whitestone Residents Want City To Stop Flow Of Foul Smelling Sewage

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — People in the Whitestone section of Queens have been dealing with a foul odor, filth, and furniture that had to be thrown out thanks to sewage that backed up into basements.

Residents said it’s because of a recent project that the city was working on.

On Tuesday, CBS2’s Erin Logan was demanding answers about how the problem will be fixed.

James Martino said the sewage covering floors in many Whitestone homes is disgusting, but so is the city’s response.

“They haven’t come and done anything yet,” he said.

Martino and other neighbors on 10th Ave have been dealing with a filthy situation since Friday, and it’s become unbearable.

“It comes up through the vents and you smell it in the bedrooms. It’s just terrible,” he said.

And frustrating — furniture and other valuables have been thrown away.

The city’s Department of Design and Construction has been working on a sewer pipe and neighbors feel the city ended up creating the mess by making the pipe smaller.

“Basically, they are not saying they’re responsible, or nothing along those lines,” Sal Caruso said.

On Monday afternoon, and all day Tuesday, CBS2 was demanding answers from the city. Through a barrage of tweets and emails to the DDC and mayor’s office, CBS2 asked what the city plans to do to avoid another disastrous situation.

“It’s gonna happen every time it rains,” Martino said.

With rain expected later this week, Martino has taken matters into his own hands. He spent a few thousand dollars on a backflow valve in his basement.

“This way, any sewage from now on, once it starts to flow back into the house, the valve will shut it off from coming in my house,” he said.

Sal Caruso is also considering the same option.

“As of now, they just want us to handle everything on our own,” he said.

Neighbors told CBS2 a representative from the comptroller’s office will be at a town meeting next Wednesday, to help them file their reimbursement claims.

Right now, residents want to know what the city will do to prevent this from happening again.

 

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