(WJLA) - The sewage poured in and in its wake, left behind multiple damaged basements on Kearney Street in Northeast D.C. - along with a host of upset District residents.
For some, it came up through the toilet like a geyser, with many complaining that it was hazardous and toxic. The look on Janice Lester's mother's face best described the smell downstairs:
"Like I was in an outhouse in the country somewhere."
It filled up her home, the one she bought in 1967.
"I feel violated because I've been complaining about it for years," she said.
Due to the massive city trees outside, the root system was so thick that you can see where the sidewalk had to be replaced with pieces of black foam. D.C. Water tells ABC 7 News that the roots dug down and clogged a main sewer line when the sky opened up yesterday. Sewage backed up, then flowed freely into homes.
"The problem is they could have taken care of this three or four years ago when they said it was an individual problem," said one homeowner.
D.C. Water said the first call about the backup came in at 10 a.m. and that its first crew didn't arrive on scene until 6 p.m. The problem was fixed in 30 minutes, but for some residents, it was hours too late.