300 homes flooded with waste after massive sewage spill in New York

SOUTH JAMAICA, Queens -- A cleanup is underway in Queens after three hundred homes were flooded with waste from a massive underground sewage spill.

The city's Department of Environmental Protection is trying to locate the source of the problem and drain people's basements in South Jamaica.

The FDNY is also on the scene helping out, and the Red Cross is finding people places to stay.

The trouble began on Inwood Street at dawn on Saturday morning. Homeowners said they had to wait more than six hours to get help from the city.

It is unclear what caused the problem, but one theory is household grease that congealed in the colder temperatures.

Mayor de Blasio tweeted that New York City DEP workers are on-site to make the necessary repairs and that they brought more pumping equipment to assist with the cleanup.

The DEP is working to break the blockage in the sewer while pumping out sewage from behind the block as well as the basements of several homes.

The city is also assisting homeowners with filling out property damage claim forms.

In addition, agencies and the Red Cross have opened a service center for affected residents at PS 223, at 125-20 Sutphin Blvd.
Copyright © 2019 WABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.