Crews in the City of Hornell are still trying to figure out the extent of the damage caused by last week's sewer line failure. A state of emergency had to be declared. But as our Katie Husband found out, the problem could go much deeper than just some broken pipes.
HORNELL, N.Y. -- More than a week after a sewer line failure, the roads in this Hornell neighborhood still look like there's an active emergency underway.
"The main trunk line at Erie Avenue and Elm Street was really backing up," said Shawn Hogan, Mayor of Hornell.
A section of the line collapsed, which caused Mayor Shawn Hogan to declare a State of Emergency Thursday to allow for a quicker response for help, or risk having a lot of sewage everywhere.
"There's about two million gallons of raw sewage that flows by here every day and once we could pump around that safely, we have the camera come up, video it, see where we're at and we'll replace that section or that area of pipe that needs to be replaced," said Mitch Cornish, superintendent of public works for the City of Hornell.
Mayor Hogan says, fortunately, this did not cause a disruption in neighboring villages or for local businesses. But when something like this happens, it makes city officials realize that the infrastructure needs to be upgraded.
"We don't dedicate enough of our national resources toward our built infrastructure. Whether it be roads, bridges, water systems, sewer systems, a very limited amount of money is available," said Hogan.
And it shows. This isn't the first time a break in the line has happened in the area due to the system's age.
"Probably 150 years old. It was back in the 1800s it was put in, so it is aging infrastructure all over the state and it's not, we expect it once in a while," said Cornish.
But hopefully not too soon since the city still doesn't know the extent or cost of this round's damage.