Something Smells in Wilkes-Barre

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WILKES-BARRE -- The city of Wilkes-Barre is promising to flush out a sewer line again to fix a smell that neighbors have been complaining about all summer. Neighbors said the sewer that reeks needs to be cleaned up.

For years, Alice Oborski said she's smelled an odor from a sewer near her home on North Pennsylvania Avenue in Wilkes-Barre. However, when she came home from vacation a few weeks ago, there wasn't just a smell, but also a foot of sewage in her basement.

"My grandchildren were very sick when I came home from the fumes. You know you couldn`t even stand it in the house," said Oborski of Wilkes-Barre.

It took two days, hundreds of dollars, and both a private contractor and city crews to clean up four truckloads of waste. Oborski said three other neighbors had the same issue this summer.

Oborski lives across the street from a restaurant and pizzeria called Goodfella's, where the smell alone is causing problems.

The people who live and work around the area said that the sewer smells worse when it gets warmer out, and it smells pretty rancid. It's bad enough that the manager at Goodfella's said it's affecting business at his restaurant.

Customers have complained about it. They come in. They order food and stuff and we have a problem. Every time somebody opens the door, the smell comes right in and they do complain about it," said manager Daved Mayen.

An official from the Wilkes-Barre Operations Department said that rain typically keeps the smell and waste down in the sewer. Since there's been less rain this summer, everything keeps coming up.

He said the sewer was flushed out a few weeks ago, and the city plans to do it again once they can coordinate a date with the Sanitary Authority, something that Alice Oborski said can't come soon enough.

"From the grates or whatever is there, the smell never goes away. You can`t even sit on the porch, it`s so bad," said Oborski.