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70-Foot Deep Sinkhole Unleashes Brutal Smell On Bay Ridge

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- It's gone from bad to worse. A massive sinkhole has turned from traffic nightmare to sickening situation in Brooklyn. A sewer main broke more than two months ago in Bay Ridge, creating a huge hole in the street.

And as CBS 2's Dave Carlin reported Friday night, the stench has now become a major problem.

Misery is how 92nd Street residents describe the slow, tedious work on the enormous sinkhole, which first formed back on June 28 and is still not close to being repaired.

Workers have been going down more than 70 feet to fix a busted 110-year-old sewer pipe. The hole has unleashed a non-stop sickening smell.

Ida Skef, who lives closest to the crater, was out with CBS 2's Dave Carlin on her front steps Friday night, but not for long.

"It smells so bad," Skef said.

Residents have been forced to keep windows closed, and as a result paid higher utility bills because of the extra air conditioning they had to use. Many are convinced the stench is making them sick even though the city said there is no proof of that.

"The DEP is trying to put in some charcoal filters to conceal that odor," City Councilman Vincent Gentile said.

CBS 2's Carlin pressed Gentile for answers. He said it's taking so long because even a short rain shower can flood the sinkhole.

Gentile said what's happening down there is a wake-up call, because with outdated pipes all over this part of Brooklyn it's not if this will happen again, it's when.

"There may be a systemic problem here that we have to look at," Gentile said.

But first, the race is on to make it stop. Workers are in a tedious night and day effort to lift out the sewer debris and estimated that this tough job will finally be done before the end of October.

Councilman Gentile said he wants to enlist the Army Corps of Engineers to see exactly how much of Brooklyn's sewer system needs replacing.

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