WINNIPEG -- A sewer system backup Tuesday night in Transcona flooded several basements, causing thousands of dollars in damages and leaving residents to deal with a mess of raw sewage.

Around 5 p.m. on Tuesday, some residents on Harold Avenue found an unwelcome surprise coming up through their basement drains.

"It was getting closer and closer, there was about an inch left, and then it came up over the drain and started flooding the basement," said Steve Marino, a resident on Harold Avenue.

"I did see toilet paper and stuff come up. The water was very dark and stinky, so it did contaminate everything down there."

Marino said he and his children were bailing water out of the basement into the back lane for about four hours.

Joe, another resident of Harold Avenue, said his basement flooded with six inches of water.

"It's not just water, it's raw sewage as well," he said. "As you walk through it, it is like you are walking through six-inch deep Red River water – it's disgusting."

Joe said it started draining a few hours later, though the raw sewage has been left behind.

The City of Winnipeg said a water main break in the area caused the sewer line to become "inundated" with water.

"Once the water main break was discovered, a separate emergency response crew was dispatched to turn off the water main," a city spokesperson told CTV News on Wednesday. "The water main remains off, and repairs are ongoing."

The city said it received eight reports of flooded basements along Harold Avenue East.

Joe said the flooding has caused thousands of dollars in damages, and will cost thousands more to clean up and replace the ruined items.