A Fort Lauderdale neighborhood has been plagued with a toxic and smelly odor for almost two weeks due to three back-to-back sewer main breaks.
Sewage flowed for nine days in the Rio Vista neighborhood during the first break earlier this month. Two days after a repair, the 54-inch pipe ruptured in another spot a block away.
The South Florida Sun Sentinel reports the break sent sludge into the Tarpon River, streets and a neighborhood park. A third break occurred in the same sewer line the next day.
Crews were working around the clock to make repairs needed to funnel the toxic sludge back into the system, but the smell has infiltrated several homes.
Robert Streit and his family moved into a hotel to avoid the stink and repairs around their home.
“The front of my home is a war zone. I have to climb over the pump lines and the temporary lines to get to my house,” Streit said.
Other neighbors have escaped to relatives’ homes for the holiday season.
Jarad Gonzalez and his husband fled their home on Saturday, catching a flight to Puerto Rico with their 1-year-old son in tow.
“The entire neighborhood, we’re all feeling it,” Gonzalez said. “We’re all devastated. Everywhere you look it’s sewage. It feels like we’re walking into a war zone.”