Sunday 15th of December 2019
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Queens residents suffer second wave of sewage backups

 				Queens residents suffer second wave of sewage backups

Beleaguered Queens residents suffered a second wave of sewage backups into their homes — but officials promised Monday that a temporary, above-ground pipeline should prevent any more recurrences.

South Ozone Park resident John Corchado said he thought the worst of his problems were over when he noticed the telltale stench of human waste inside his house around 8 p.m. Sunday.

“I smelled something bad again and I went downstairs and saw the water, one foot to 15 inches,” he said. “I said, ‘Oh no, I was just dealing with this and here it is back again.'”

Corchado, 35, said a neighbor across the street told him the situation there was even worse, with the sewage reaching the third step up from the basement floor.

Corchado, a lead-paint inspector, said the flooding in his basement had receded when he checked on it Monday morning.

With a winter storm underway, Corchado said that his home has no heat or hot water due to the foul flooding that began Saturday.

His wife and their three kids, a 6-year-old and twins age 3, are staying at her parents’ home on Long Island while he deals with the disgusting mess.

“It’s a s–tty situation,” he said.

Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Vincent Sapienza said workers on Sunday “set up what’s called a bypass system, where we put a large pipe above-ground on the street” near where the sewer main backed up at 150th Street near JFK Airport.

Broken sewer line in Queens
Matthew McDermott

Because the sewer main is buried about 40 feet deep, the work required special structural supports from a company in Massachusetts to shore up the excavated trench, Sapienza said.

“We’re pumping up to 10 million gallons per day of sewer water past the blockage to relieve this community of further backups,” he told reporters during a news conference at the Office of Emergency Management headquarters in Brooklyn.

Sapienza, who said that “the repairs may take several days,” also lowered the official count of contaminated homes by from 82 to 74.

The new number was based on a survey of the area on Sunday night, a DEP spokesman said.

Mayor Bill de Blasio, who came under fire Sunday for failing to visit the neighborhood amid the crisis, said he would be “going out there today.”

“The most important thing is to get the work done and our emergency crews were doing that and the thing was for them to stabilize the situation,” de Blasio said.

“I think they have done a very good job under very adverse circumstances

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