Residents of Harrisburg apartment complex displaced after sewage backup

Harrisburg

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — There’s a really disgusting problem at a Harrisburg apartment complex.

It’s driven people from the homes and into hotels.

Everyone living on the first floor of four buildings at the Court at Washington Square were affected and it’s all because of a grease backup in the pipes.

The carpet in Sudhir Shah’s apartment has air circulating underneath it after massive flooding Monday morning.

“I saw the water up to about two, three inches and I thought that maybe it got flooded so I started plunging the water but that was not the issue. The sewage was the issue,” Shah said.

“Flooding of feces, urine, all through coming out the bathroom tubs, the toilet, through the floors of the hallways,” David West, director of public works for the City of Harrisburg, said.

The culprit was grease blockage, whis is an issue Capital Region Water says has been going on for years.

“Residents often think they can pour grease down the drain even using hot water they think oh it’s going to get all the way to the sewer main and that’s not the case,” Katzenmoyer said.

The first plumber management called didn’t have the right equipment.

“All the while, the apartments from the second and third floor, whenever they flushed their toilets or ran water it kept coming up through the first-floor apartments,” Christopher McGraw, whose mother was affected, said.

But Capital Region Water helped them get a plumber that did. In the meantime, city officials helped get residents to the Crown Plaza Hotel.

“President Wanda Williams called me and I came out and I assisted with city vehicles, city vans to be able to transport the residents, their luggage,” West said.

Shah said he was there until Thursday morning.

“Today all of the sudden, Thursday, I’m having my coffee and I got a phone call from the front desk that you are supposed to move out by 11:00,” Shah said.

Apartment management says that must have been a miscommunication.

Management says they’re going to pay for affected residents to stay at the hotel, though the City of Harrisburg footed the bill.

Bottom line is don’t pour grease down the drain.

“Put it into a container that can be thrown away in the trash rather than pouring it down the drain,” Charlotte Katzenmoyer said.

Apartment management also says they’re in the process of getting ServPro to clean out the apartments and will replace all the carpeting.

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