Sewer backup causes messy situation for Irvington homeowners just days ahead of Christmas

A sewer backup is causing headaches for some homeowners in Irvington just days ahead of the Christmas holiday.
Derrick Richardson and his family moved into their home on Washington Avenue just a year ago. On Sunday, he went into his basement only to find a disaster.
"I went down to the laundry and checked the basement and it just was a whole bunch of black sewage water just rising up," says Richardson.
Richardson tells News 12 there was a sewer back up, and about seven homes on the block got at least two feet of sewer water in the basement, destroying essentials like washing machines and dryers.
Richardson says his homeowner's insurance covered the cleanup but he's on his own for everything else and he and his neighbors want more help from the city.
"The only help so far, they left this in the street for us to drop stuff in," says Richardson. "That's it, that's not enough help."
Jamel Holley, the director of the Department of Public Works, says the initial call to the office came from nearby Brookside Avenue but the sewer backup started on Washington.
"When we unclogged Washington, what we found was hair debris, soap scum, oil, grease and unfortunately when those types of things get trapped into the system, these types of things unfortunately do occur," says Holley.
Public Works officials tell News 12 they can only deal with issues on the main sewer line. Anything between the home and the main sewer line is for the homeowner to resolve.
Richardson and his family are making do by boiling hot water for showers and using space heaters to stay warm.
City officials say they offered to help with the cleanup and filing insurance claims. They're telling residents to be mindful of what they flush into the system.