Woman forced to live in sewage-flooded apartment in Bed Stuy, Brooklyn for nearly a week


BEDFORD STUYVESANT, Brooklyn (WABC) — It’s a renter’s nightmare in Brooklyn as a woman living in a first-floor apartment has been dealing with a major sewage problem for nearly a week.

She heard an explosion in her bathroom last Thursday but had been getting the runaround from her landlord over when the repairs would take place.

An overflowing toilet dumped brown water all over her bathroom – the murky, feces-filled fluid is also bubbling up in the tub.
“I can’t say I lost everything, but when you work so hard for your stuff and you see that happen, that’s heartbreaking and then you want me to literally lay in here like this?” tenant Cleshea McBurnette said.

It’s what Cleshea and her son Mark woke up to Thursday morning and had to deal with inside their ground floor unit.

“I tried to use the plunger thinking it was just a regular problem, but when I used the plunger, it started coming up more,” son Mark Ruffin said.

The ordeal unfolded during an inspection of the unit. Cleshea said a representative from the management company DCA 1 was there.

At one point water seeped into her living room. Crews did drop off a wet vac.

“I said what am I supposed to do with this, they literally told me you’re supposed to clean it up yourself,” McBurnette said.

She says the toilet again overflowed and that it wasn’t until Saturday when crews finally came out and checked the catch basin outside the building on MacDougal Street.
“He goes, it’s a backup from outside, I called 311, they dispersed it to DEP and DEP didn’t come,” McBurnette said.

She says on Monday she once again made contact with management and also called community activist Tony Hebert.

“I’m like look, let’s get this done so that this headache can go away, this woman shouldn’t have to live like this, especially if she pays rent,” Hebert said.

Eyewitness News paid a visit to the property manager who assured us her team was on top of things and that the plumber will return and remove all the tiles contaminated by the sewage.

Until then McBurnette is crossing her fingers.

“I have boots because you just don’t know when you’re going to get up and it’s going to be flooded again,” she said.

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