Street Becomes Drug Den Months After Water Main Break

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Philadelphia Water crews now say they will be out on Thursday, after a street in Kensington was left abandoned and rotting following a water main break. NBC10's Denise Nakano tells us how this has affected the surrounding community. (Published Wednesday, May 21, 2014)

    It was December of last year when a water main break and collapse damaged the area of G Street and Allegheny Avenue in the city’s Kensington section. Several months later, neighbors in the community claim that a lack of action from city officials has caused their home to be filled with trash, concrete barriers and worst of all, increased drug activity.

    “We’re furious,” said Marnie Aumentloughrey, one of the residents. “This happened back in December of last year.”

    According to Aumentloughrey, officials never completed repairs on the street, leading to its current state as a rundown construction zone.

    “Neighbors are scared to come out,” Aumentloughrey said. “What are you going to do? How can they help us with that if they can’t even fix a hole in the street where a car fell through?”

    To make matters worse, officials say the concrete barriers are keeping emergency vehicles as well as police officers from getting onto the street. According to Philadelphia Police Captain Michael Cram, drug dealers in the area are taking advantage.

    “It lends itself to letting the bad guys feel like they’re in power and the good people feel like they’re not,” Cram said. “They’re frustrated and feel like prisoners in their own homes.”

    Neighbors claim they couldn’t get answers regarding who was responsible for fixing the street and how long it would take to be fixed.

    NBC10 called the Philadelphia Water Department early Wednesday evening and were told that the department was waiting for work to be done by PGW. However, a PGW official told NBC10 that they’re working two blocks away from G Street and Allegheny on an unrelated construction project.

    “Is somebody going to actually have to get hurt and die for you to wake up downtown?” Aumentloughrey asked. “What’s going to have to happen for somebody to tell us what’s going on with this street?”

    Around 10:30 p.m. on Wednesday, a spokesperson for the Philadelphia Water Department sent NBC10 the following statement:

    The Philadelphia Water Department apologizes for the inconvenience of this ongoing project, and considers our customers a top priority. We will have crews at the site tomorrow to make sure the area is safe and clean and will work with PGW to expedite remaining gas and water activities required to re-open the street.