HOLLYWOOD (CBSMiami) — Sewage isn’t the only thing that’s raw in Hollywood. Emotions are getting pretty raw for some residents, too.
At a city meeting Monday night to air concerns and update residents, several of those impacted by a sewer main break that spewed millions of gallons of sewage into yards, streets and a waterway, gave city officials an earful.
“I got a 5-month-old and an 11 year old I wouldn’t dare take them back to that house until I know it’s safe personally,” said Darryl Logan, who is staying in a hotel with his family, paid for by the city. “I would dare not have Thanksgiving inside my house because when I turn the air conditioner on it smells just like what it was outside.”
Craig Neale and his fiance, Lindzee Warren, say they’re glad the city will take soil samples of their backyard but are frustrated by the pace of the cleanup.
“They said they were come back today and spray,” Neale said. “I was home all day I didn’t see anyone come back and spray.”
Crews in Hollywood continue working to clean up a disgusting and stinky situation. The sewer pipeline that burst last week is now fully fixed but the clean-up effort on Taft street between Park Road and I-95 is just getting started.
For two days, millions of gallons of raw sewage spewed from a ruptured 48-inch sewage pipe which burst Wednesday evening.
More than 20 million gallons of that sewage was diverted into the C-10 canal, which flows into the Intracoastal and eventually the ocean. The raw sewage has done its damage in the canal.
Workers in plastic suits have been scooping up debris and dead fish from the canal. The city has placed notices on the doors of hundreds of homes near the canal warning them to not fish, swim or wade in the canal.
Sanitation crews have already begun aerating and removing debris. They are spraying a disinfectant made of chlorine through the neighborhood and are disinfecting the backyards of more than 20 homes along 31st Road.
Residents say the smell is still troubling.
“Whatever the smell is; it’s driving us crazy,” said resident Victor Muvdi.
“The odor, while lingering, is not an airborne contaminant; so residents don’t need to worry about that,” said Hollywood spokesperson Raelin Storey.
“It smells terrible and I worry about infection because there are a lot of mosquitoes outside so I think when the mosquitos come inside the house the mosquitoes will bring the infection inside the house and I have a little baby so I think it’s a big problem” said concerned resident Maria Ceron.
City officials said the water contamination levels in the canals are improving although the levels are not back to normal just yet.
“We need piece of mind,” said resident Victor Muvdi. “ We have to eat with this smell and sleep with this smell that’s still so bad. This is insane.”
Everglades Waste Removal Services has been working to clean the Greater Hollywood YMCA and yards and outbuildings of the homes affected by the nasty spill. The YMCA had sewage seep onto its fields and into the Olympic-size, outdoor swimming pool and aquatic playground. It remains closed and the child care facility has been moved to a different location.
Many of the home owners are staying a hotel at the expense of the city.
Additional work took place over the weekend to repair new leaks discovered in the sewage pipe. The sewer main is the primary line connecting west Hollywood, eastern Pembroke Pines and parts of southern Broward County to the Southern Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant in Hollywood.
The Florida Department of Environmental Protection said Friday it is monitoring the situation.
The Broward County Health Department has also said the spill did not affect drinking water.
Hollywood is likely to face fines from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for piping the raw sewage from the rupture point into the canal behind Rotary Park and allowing spillover to go into a storm drain that empties into the same canal.
As for the cost of cleanup and repairs, Peter Bober, the city’s mayor, told CBS 4’s Carey Codd it will easily be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.
City crews are hoping all clean-up and road repairs are done by Thanksgiving.
In the meantime, people like Josh Winstrom will have to find a new place to pass the time.
“I’m not gonna be fishing, there’s a sewage problem,” Winstrom said.