APOLLO BEACH, Fla.- It started as a minor depression in the roadway and ended up much bigger. Residents in the Covington Park neighborhood of Apollo Beach say they started complaining about the problem last year before county crews finally discovered a broken sewer line underground.
Crews started digging to fix the problem around the Fourth of July. Now,nine weeks later, the hole remains and little work, if any, seems to be getting done.
"They're here once a week. They don't work Monday through Friday, they work Monday through Thursday. They come here one day and then they are gone," said resident Fernando Perez. "They don't have to live in this mess, we do."
A subcontractor took over the job, blaming the delays on record rainfall and high ground water levels. They say it's unsafe to get workers down into the hole to fix the pipe until all the water is pumped out. But residents say even that process seems slow.
"They told me today they're bringing another pump out... I come home, there's no other pump," said Perez.
Even with a pump running 24 hours a day, seven days a week, the county says they have no idea when they'll even begin working to fix this problem.
"We're scared it's going to carry over to the holidays," said Perez.
Meanwhile, some residents have no access to their own driveways, the U.S. Postal service won't deliver mail, and garbage is piling up because the county can't get their trucks down the road.
"I'm going to be having a baby in two days," said Heidi Smart. She says things are tough enough without having to deal with the huge mess.
"It's hard to navigate out of here, to get to my job, to get anywhere, to get to the grocery store."
There's also the issue of non-stop noise.
"My kids' room is right there. When you're in their room, all you hear is the RAWR, RARW... all day long. All nightlong," said a frustrated Perez.
The whole mess is wearing on residents like Perez, who wonder when life will ever return to normal.
"It just doesn't seem like there's an end in sight."