With the days getting warmer, more and more adults finishing their second vaccine doses, and a Dippin’ Dots finally opening in the Flatiron District, you’d be forgiven for thinking the Roarin’ ’20s were officially underway.
But for one Queens woman, the only thing roaring on Monday evening was the fountain of sludge erupting in her kitchen.
“I was sitting at our kitchen table working on my laptop, I heard our sink gurgle, and I looked over just in time to see a black geyser shooting out of the sink, onto the ceiling, onto everything,” said Ridgewood resident Angela Wang.
“It happened so fast, I couldn’t react to it — but then it happened two more times,” she said. “The entire kitchen was covered in this putrid black sludge.”
Wang said that according to her landlord, a plumber had come to clear out a building pipe, but instead of pushing the clog out into the street, he used pressurized air and accidentally pushed the clog back up into the building, causing the sinks in several units to erupt.
“It was like The Exorcist, it was crazy,” said Wang. “And I knew that it wasn’t just us, because before it even started happening, I heard our neighbors upstairs screaming.”
Thought I’d seen it all after nearly a decade in NYC, but putrid black sludge spewing from the sink (into nearly every nook and cranny of the kitchen) is truly a first!! 🙂🙂🙂 pic.twitter.com/DaT5J5VzYO
— Angela Wang (@angelareplica) April 13, 2021
Joe Lore, her landlord, elaborated: “I called one of these services to clean out the drain, because Angela was complaining that there was gurgling in her sink.”
“The guy was having a hard time putting the snake through,” Lore said. “And then he said he wanted to put air in the pipes to clean out the pipes, and he put the machine in the wrong way, towards inside the house rather than towards outside the house. With all that air pressure, it went through all the kitchens and blasted grease all over the counters, ceilings, all over the floors.”
Wang, whose food, appliances, and shoes got drenched in sludge, said she helped her landlord and the plumber clean for four hours, but there was still residue in certain nooks and crannies.
“And the smell persisted,” she said, adding that the odor was reminiscent of mold. “I couldn’t even sleep because the smell was just permeating our apartment.”
Lore, who said he’s owned the six-unit building for over 20 years, complained that the plumbing company sent someone who wasn’t well trained enough in using the equipment. He added that he’s asking his tenants whose kitchens got sludged to provide receipts, because he plans to take the plumbing company to small claims court to cover the damages.
As of publishing time, a representative from the plumbing company has not agreed to comment.
For Wang, who seemed in good spirits despite having insomnia-inducing grease take over her kitchen, characterized the ordeal as both a novelty and par for the course.
“I’ve lived in so many shit apartments in New York City,” she said. “In my last apartment, all the ceilings collapsed at one point. I feel like I’m used to this.”