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Horror movie nightmare: Thousands of roaches invade Philadelphia neighborhood

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Thousands of roaches invade Bridesburg neighborhood. Nydia Han reports during Action News at 5 p.m. on July 18, 2017.

The Philadelphia Water Department is hoping they've stopped thousands of cockroaches from climbing out of a manhole in Bridesburg.

Tommy Cranston has a good sense of humor, but he wasn't laughing when the invasion of roaches poured onto his street Monday.

"I woke up dreaming about a roach, that's how bad it was," he said. "They were coming out of the manhole cover over there, that little slit. But they were pumping out. Did you ever see that movie 'Creep Show'? It was something to behold."
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Watch Action Cam video in Bridesburg where residents are dealing with a cockroach infestation problem.


A cell phone video taken after the roaches had drawn their last breath was disturbing enough, but apparently nothing compared to their active invasion of Salmon and Plum streets.

"They were straight-up nasty," said Cranston, using his hands to demonstrate their size. "They were about this big, and they fly."

For many, it was a truly horror movie moment

"You couldn't see the asphalt underneath the truck, there were so many of them," Pat Wall said.

Still, some say the incident had a silver lining. It brought everyone together to combat the creepy crawly critters.

"When the going gets tough, they're out here," Wall said of her neighbors. "I was super proud of everybody, the way they pitched in."

There is still no word on what exactly triggered the sudden invasion.

"They were spraying them with spray and then stomping them," neighbor Sandra Schwinger said. "Then spraying them and stomping them before they went into people's houses."

On Tuesday, the Philadelphia Water Department flushed the manhole and vacuumed out debris from the inlets.

"Behind them came the health department to put an insecticide into the sewer," Water Department spokesman John Digiulio said. "To hopefully treat and remediate the situation."

Still, the entire, normally welcoming community is hoping it will never see an influx of visitors like this again.

"If it stays that way, I'll be very happy," Schwinger said.

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