CHARLOTTE, NC (FOX 46 WJZY) - Hundreds of dead fish are to blamed for stinking up an east Charlotte neighborhood.
Tuesday, FOX 46 Charlotte learned a report on the fish kill has been filed with North Carolina Fish and Wildlife as well as the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality.
Neighbors tell FOX 46 Charlotte least 1,000 fish were killed in their neighborhood pond this weekend. They are questioning why the City of Charlotte decided to drain the pond as part of a construction project.
"It was devastating. It was sad," said neighbor, Constance Kovach.
Dead fish, everywhere! Pictures taken Sunday captured a massive fish kill along Timberlake Drive in the Marlwood Acres neighborhood.
Pumps nearby show construction crews had been draining the pond as part of a pollution control project started by city stormwater services.
"By Sunday morning, this lake was totally empty," said Kovach.
And that's where the problem started.
The fish were starving for oxygen and just trying to find anywhere they could to be able to survive," said Kovach.
An official from the City of Charlotte admits the pond was being drained at the time of the incident. In a statement to FOX 46 Charlotte they said: "Unfortunately, fish died during the process,"
>Neighbors say that could be the understatement of the year. They removed enough dead fish to fill a garbage can.
"The big dumpster, two of them and then we carted off a lot because it was starting to stink," said neighbor, Xahvia Braun.
The smell of dead fish was the last thing neighbors were expecting during construction, considering the area is a certified wildlife habitat from the National Wildlife Foundation.
"We have spent a lot of effort, many decades nourishing and cultivating and stocking the pond and it's very important to us to keep a healthy ecosystem," said Braun.
To save the remaining fish crews pumped water back into the pond, but permanent damage to the area's ecosystem may already be done.
Neighbors say they are not against the construction project, because it is supposed to fix flooding in the area, they just hope the City of Charlotte communicates better with neighbors before doing work to the pond.