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Northside resident frustrated over stench and water from sewer back up

Posted at 6:45 PM, Feb 28, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-28 19:14:17-05

RICHMOND, Va. -- A Northside resident has been frustrated for months over a backed up sewer that impedes his wheelchair travel. When it rains, the area at Gladstone Avenue and Richmond-Henrico Turnpike floods about half the block, resident Cliff Lewis said.

Open up the storm drain and standing water and leaves are visible.

“You can see bottles, cardboard, McDonald’s bags -- all kinds of paper stopping it up,” Lewis said.

Lewis is frustrated with the water, along with its unpleasant byproduct – a stench that lingers.

Stuffed with leaves and trash, the sewer floods during heavy rains.

Stuffed with leaves and trash, the sewer floods during heavy rains.

The situation makes it pretty tough to get around in his wheelchair, Lewis said.

“After it rains, right here where I get on the sidewalk, sometimes I have to go all the way to the corner to get to my house,” he said.  “I can't go through all the water that's packed up right here.”

“Oh yeah, there's a stench, you can smell it a half a block away after it rains,” Lewis added. “It travels up through the sewer.”

Lewis reached out to the CBS 6 Problem Solvers after he said several neighbors called but never heard back.

CBS 6 contacted the Department of Public Utilities. A spokesperson said Tuesday that a crew checked things out and noted it wasn't a sewer backup problem but rather that the storm inlets are filled with trash and need to be cleaned.

The department said crews plan to tackle the mess Wednesday morning.