Melrose residents worried sewage nightmare could happen to them

MELROSE, MASS. (WHDH) - Several residents were forced out of their homes last week after sewage line backed up. Now, neighbors say they are looking for answers.

Nearly a week after four homes on Brazil Street were inundated with sewage, people living along the affected line held a meeting Wednesday night to express their concerns that what happened to their neighbors might happen to them.

“It has been a week, tell us what went wrong,” resident Rick Greski said. “We all make mistakes in our lives. Take accountability from the mayor’s office up for all these people. Fix the problem.”

A neighborhood alderman says the city has agreed to pay for the initial cleaning of the properties but, those impacted want the city to cover the cost of ripping up floors and wall and ruined furniture and clothing.

Silvana Ortiz lives in one of the homes that were damaged. She described the scene as a “tornado of poop.”

Melrose has hired a firm to determine what went wrong.

Shortly after the backup occurred, the city released a statement reading, workers “proceeded to jet the block in the line in order to restore the flow. At some point during that process, sewage surcharged back into four properties on Brazil Street.”

“The residents are naturally concerned about what was represented the day that the DPW was on scene,” one man said.

In an attempt to cover some of the costs, 11-year-old Lloyd Graves and 10-year-old Marissa Mantilla opened a lemonade stand benefitting their displaced neighbors.

“I talked to her about it on the bus, just mentioning it,” Graves said attributing some of the idea to his partner. “Apparently she has always wanted to do a lemonade stand. So I thought it would be a good idea to do it with a donation thing.”

So far, about a thousand dollars have been raised.

“It has always been my summer dream to open up a lemonade stand for a good cause,” Mantilla said. “And, I learned something, the “ade” in lemonade stands for aiding neighbors.”

The city is paying for those four families to stay in a hotel until July 8 however, construction could drag on much past that date.

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