Youngstown residents wake up to sewage flooding basements

Local News

Neighbors say this isn't the first time it's happened

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – People in a Youngstown neighborhood woke up to a flood of sewage in their basements Wednesday morning.

It happened on a stretch of Pinehurst Avenue just east of Market Street. Mike McEvey was one of the first to discover it when he got up around 4 a.m.

“Started downstairs for a shower and found the floor was soaking wet with about six inches of water,” McEvey said.

Within minutes, his home on Pinehurst had a couple feet of water in the basement. Before long, four of his neighbors awoke to the same problem.

“I was like, right away, something doesn’t smell right, so I slipped the basement light on and my, everything, I bet there’s water up to my waist,” said Meichelle McClellan.

“We saw the washing machine floating in the house, looking downstairs,” said Gerald Minor.

In all of the basements, clothing and other debris was floating in the water, while furnaces, hot water tanks, electrical outlets and cords were all submerged.

Just around the corner on Market Street, a 12-inch water line had broken, sending mud and debris into the storm sewers of Pinehurst, plugging them and backing into the basements.

“This same thing happened to us, same neighbors, last year and so we had to go through everything, get everything replaced,” said Tonya Hawkins.

While neighbors were told to file reports of the flooding and damage with the city, some said they went through this last year.

“If I went down there once, I went down there five or six times. They did nothing to help us. Nothing,” said McClellan.

“I just can’t afford to do it all again. I just can’t afford to replace all those appliances again this year,” Hawkins said.

By afternoon, the water had drained away, leaving stains on the walls where it had been.

Neighbors now face a huge mess to clean up, wondering how to pay for it all and how to keep it from happening again.

“We don’t know, give us some answers. That’s what we want. Give us some answers. Let us definitely know what’s going on,” Minor said.

City leaders said they are aware of what happened on Pinehurst. They are looking to see if there is anything they can do to help neighbors clean up the damage and replace what’s been lost.

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