WAUSAU - What happened overnight in the basement of Denise Cherek's Wausau home led to an unfortunate wake up call.
"It just was a horrible smell," said Cherek.
At 1:30 a.m. Thursday morning, Cherek discovered that her basement was flooded.
"My washtubs next to the washer and dryer were full of a blue, green muddy looking yuck and it was spilling out all over the floor," said Cherek.
The color and smell of that liquid lead Cherek to assume the worst.
"There's something going on with the sewer system," said Cherek.
Cherek spent the morning cleaning with bleach and pumping those puddles back down the sewer.
For one of Cherek's neighbor on Wyatt St., the water levels were even higher. A video posted to Facebook, shows storage containers in the basement of that home floating in brown water.
Cherek and her neighbor confirm they were first contacted by city officials after 4:00 a.m.
In a press release, the City of Wausau confirmed that a sewer did backup. In the midst of a sewer main replacement, a private contractor's bypass pumping system shut down per the release.
While the pumping system was repaired Thursday morning, sewer backup had already flooded several homes.
According to the city, "a complete list of homes will be compiled and the contractor will contact each of the property owners immediately to begin the clean-up process."
City Engineer Allen Wesolowski says recent cold temperatures could've played a role in the equipment malfuniction.
"We expect that it was due to the cold weather that the backup system didn't fire and when the backup system didn't work that's when the backup occurred," said Wesolowski
Wesolowski says Cherek's home is among at least a dozen confirmed impacted in the area south of Thomas St. and east of 3rd Ave. That number is expected to increase as people return to their homes throughout the day.
Wesolowski confirmed the private contractor was Michigan-based company, Jake's Excavating & Landscaping. That company is expected to finish their work with the city in about a week. Anyone affected is advised to contact the company and discuss the damage incurred.