NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A little rain can be a big headache on Staten Island.
As CBS2’s Jessica Borg reported, residents of Bay Terrace said they are fearful every time it rains, because sewage backs up into their streets and homes. And they say they are not getting any help from the city.
“It just started slowing down,” Donato DiCamillo said as he stood knee-deep in water in a video he recorded. “It was waist deep.”
DiCamillo recorded the video after last Friday’s brief, but powerful rainstorm. He was standing at the end of his driveway on Justin Avenue in the Bay Terrace section of Staten Island — and he claimed water was not the only thing flooding the area.
“It’s raw sewage. That’s what we’re smelling,” he said. “It’s coming up on our property.”
He lives on the corner of busy Hylan Boulevard. Neighbors said whenever it rains heavily, everything backs up.
“Even when it’s a slight rain, you see that it puddles up and then after a while, it’s huge,” said Vincent Fischetti. “So it can’t just be the rainfall that’s all gathering down.”
“These sewers, they can’t take the amount of rainfall that falls,” DiCamillo added.
DiCamillo said in the past, raw sewage has come up from the shower drains, flooding his bathroom floors and has also covered the floors in the basement. He said he has needed to do patch work on the sheetrock because of the damage.
He said his lifelong record collection has been also damaged, and the constant overflow has causing cracks in the concrete.
“This is all peeling and rotting,” he said. “We’ve called DEP, called 311 I don’t know how many times, but nothing seems to be done. They seem to maybe put a Band-Aid on the situation, send a few guys out, dredge up some sludge out of the sewers — and next rainfall, it happens all over again.”
A city representative could not confirm if prior complaints were made, but told CBS2 “an investigation will be conducted to try to determine the cause of any backups.”
Residents hope the problem is fixed before the next summer rain.