Hundreds of millions of gallons of toxic sewage have spilled into bodies of water and roads off the Atlantic coast of Florida, killing fish and sea creatures as well as leaking into residential houses and buildings.
Fort Lauderdale Mayor Dean Trantalis (D) plans to discuss requests for state and federal aid as more than 211 million gallons of raw sewage have spilled out in a series of pipe breaks since late last year.
“There’s no way anyone could have taken care of every single aspect overnight. It’s going to take years to do it,” Trantalis said in an NBC News interview.
Back in December, pipes near the city reportedly broke six times, releasing 126.9 million gallons of sewage. The waste reportedly filled the streets of three neighborhoods as well as the Tarpon River and Himmarshee Canal.
At the end of January, another pipe burst, spilling for 10 days. And early this month, another 79.3 million gallons spilled into George English Lake, as well as another 5.4 million gallons overflowing streets near George English Park, across from a local shopping center, according to NBC News.
“All the fish are dead there,” Fort Lauderdale fisherman Jeff Maggio told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. “Everything’s just gone. Crabs, oysters, barnacles and plankton. Crews have been out there picking up hundreds of fish out of the water, so it doesn’t look like holy hell. Manatees are swimming in that poison.”
The sewage system in Fort Lauderdale was built over a half-century ago. The first sewage leaks were reported in 2014, leading to city mandates that the problems will be fixed by 2026.
The city commission plans to meet with the mayor on Tuesday to discuss plans to request state and federal assistance to “overhaul the sewage system.”
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