SUFFOLK, Va. (WAVY) - Officials say 9.3 million gallons of untreated sewage spilled into Shingle Creek as a result of a sewer main break during Hurricane Sandy.
The Suffolk Health Department says the spill is ongoing. Officials say the break was a result of high pressure in the pipes.
Neighbors saw the leak, even before raw sewage shot into the air.
"We saw it bubble up just a little bit," said Brooke Moore, who shot home video of the mess. "We turned around and came back, and it was spraying 25 foot up in the air. Then, we turned around in our driveway and came back, and it was 50 foot up in the air."
Crews hired by the Hampton Roads Sanitation District have been working around the clock since they first heard about the problem Monday.
"We had crews here immediately to work as much as we could," said Rhonda Bowen, a HRSD spokesperson. "We had to wait for the tide to subside so we could get in and assess the situation and figure out exactly what we could do to get the repairs taken care of."
The closure of Wilroy Road is an obstacle for residents with school age children.
"I called HRSD, who informed me at 5:45 this evening, that we will not have bus service back for four to six weeks," said Moore, when interviewed Friday. "I work full time. My husband works full time. That's impossible."
Bowen says the sewage was supposed to flow from homes to the treatment facility. Large pipes will be placed underground and used to get the sewage back on track.
Until then, residents say they're making the best of a smelly situation.
"Oh my God, the stink!" said Moore. "It is awful."
There was no visible sewage in the roadway Friday.
The main break is not a drinking water problem because of the diversion, but recreational users are advised to shower and avoid contact with water in Shingle Creek and the nearby Nansemond River.
This is the first sewer main break of this magnitude in the area, according to HRSD.
Additional information about sewer leaks can be found online .
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