Ahoy #streetboat! Trash -- and boat -- dumping a problem in Houston

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It's a strange sight just off of I-610 in south-central Houston: a boat, marooned at an abandoned, boarded up, graffiti-ridden convenience store. (KTRK)

It's a strange sight just off of I-610 in south-central Houston's South Park neighborhood.

It's a boat, marooned at an abandoned, boarded up, graffiti-ridden convenience store. The former fishing vessel is bursting with a cargo of garbage and trash, filled to the poop-deck.

It's surrounded by what could be described as flotsam and jetsam: discarded clothes, furniture and dozens of soggy, filthy shoes. The boat almost blends in, next to gas pumps that have been scrapped and trees and weeds that are overgrown.

But a trashed boat sitting roughly 6,000 fathoms from the nearest port? That's got to be a rare sight for the city of Houston solid waste crews.

SEE ALSO: Can Houston clean up its chronic dumping problem?
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It looks like a dump. But it's not. It's the median of a southeast Houston neighborhood.

Nope, they see it all time, according to one city supervisor.

There have been 2,516 complaints for dump sites like this reported in just the last 30 days, city records show. Not all of these dumpsites have 'street boats,' but too many do. Indeed, soon after abc13 discovered the South Park street boat, reporters found another on off the Hardy Toll Road.

The neighbors in the South Park case are practically sea sick from the sight of their street boat.

"It doesn't belong there," neighbor Felipe Andrade said.

"I've been waiting to see what they do with it," neighbor Christina Harris said. "Why would a boat be here in South Park? There's no river or lake or ocean around here."

SEE ALSO: Trash dump no more. Cleanup comes day after abc13 report
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City crews removed piles of trash from the median of Wayside Drive -- less than a day after abc13 reported on the mountains of dumped junk Wednesday.

The boat and trash sat there for months and were cleaned up within hours of Ted Oberg Investigates calling about it.

And while neighbors may want to take a cat o' nine tails to the owner who dumped it here, cleaning up the rest or getting the owner to pay for the city's efforts to do his job for him is more difficult.

The city noticed the owner in mid-June.

Nothing changed.

Then city officials sent a citation to his house a block away. He skipped out on a court date.

He wasn't there either time Ted Oberg Investigates showed up.

Records show he's had issues before with back taxes, but has since paid up.

Do you have a street boat in your neighborhood? Take a photo and place it on Facebook or Twitter with the hashtag #streetboat and we'll take a look.
Related Topics:
newsTed Oberg InvestigatesdumpingtrashHouston
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