TARPON SPRINGS, Fla. - Yomaris Rosado said the stench was so bad, she feared for her child's health.
"I have a daughter with asthma," the Tarpon Springs resident said. "Thank you God she didn't get it, but I know that it's bad for her," Rosado said.
A sewage pipe ruptured near the intersection of Safford Avenue and Live Oak Street, spewing pollution into the nearby roads and in some cases, people's yards.
"It was dark. Pretty disgusting," said Charlie Neller, who lives on Spruce Street and watched the filth bubbling up from the storm drains. Toilet paper and fecal matter could be seen floating by, Neller said. The stinky air was so unpleasant it ruined his appetite.
"Yeah, trying to eat with it smelling like it was coming out of the toilets," Neller said.
The city of Tarpon Springs hasn't determined the cause of the break in the 24-inch pipe, but a bypass line is being constructed while an investigation is underway.
Some workers installing the replacement pipe speculated that a shift underground broke the pipe, such as a sinkhole.
Some businesses along busy Pinellas Avenue were adversely affected, as sewage flooded into their property. The street is lined with shops and restaurants as it's located close to the Sponge Docks.
David Aide, owner of Q Dogs, a restaurant expected to open next month, said bad weather flooding near his property was not unusual. The sewage leak, however, needs to be fixed right away, Aide said.
"If they waited and it happens again and again and nobody does anteing then that's not good," Aide said. "They seemed to jump right on it and are trying to take care of things."
Rosado said it's a waiting game for a return to fresh air.
"You cannot go outside because it smells bad, and you cannot go inside," Rosado said. "There's nothing you can do."
Chris Trenkmann can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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