Despite the studio's proximity to a polluted canal, initial testing determined it was not exposed to contaminants
Eastern Effects, a Brooklyn-based studio that is home to the upcoming FX spy show "The Americans," was damaged by flooding from Hurricane Sandy, TheWrap has learned.
Shooting on the show, which stars Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys as KGB agents in 1980s Washington, D.C., was scheduled to begin next Tuesday, but because of the damage to sets it has been delayed until Nov. 26, according to two individuals familiar with the production said.
Despite the proximity of a notoriously polluted canal, initial testing determined the studio was not exposed to raw sewage or other contaminants.
One set was damaged after a soundstage was flooded with six inches of water, one individual close to the production said. The network declined to comment.
Crew members became concerned about safety because Eastern Effects is located near the Gowanus Canal, which is considered one of the country's most contaminated bodies of water.
The Gowanus is one of the city's combined sewer overflows, meaning that it is one of the areas designated to collect sewage during periods of heavy rain, so untreated waste does not bubble into the streets.
Although cameras are not rolling, crew members reported to work on Wednesday. Consultants hired by FX have determined that it is safe to resume production.
Laura Gahrahmat, a co-owner of Eastern Effects, confirmed to TheWrap that flooding had occurred but said it has been cleaned up.
"In four days, we have taken every piece of wall that had been exposed to flooding and had it removed. We've done extensive cleanup per FX's requirements," she said.
At the recommendation of an industrial hygienist hired by FX, workers tore out soundproofing on the stage after it was determined that the drywall behind it got wet in the storm.
FX hired its own testing company, which determined that the set had not been exposed to any hazardous material. Eastern Effects hired a different company to assess possible exposure to contaminants at its properties. Results are expected in the next two weeks, Gahrahmat said.
"It's not unusual for businesses to occupy a building while they are waiting for test results," she said. "There is no standing water. It's not a sewage dump. The water went in and came out, and the only problem was the drywall got wet."
Eastern Effects has rented lighting and grip equipment since 1999. It opened its sound stages this year.
FX picked up "The Americans" last summer and is preparing the drama for a premiere in early 2013.
The New York City Department of Environmental Protection is working to limit the amount of sewage in the Gowanus by repairing a tunnel, but work has not been completed on the project, according to a report in the New York Times.
Gahrahmat said, however, that Eastern Effects' location on the Gowanus often leads to misperceptions about what it means to be situated near a Superfund site, the term for areas like the canal that have been designated polluted with hazardous materials by the Environmental Protection Agency.
"There are lots of thriving businesses around the Gowanus and they wouldn't be thriving if there was a serious threat," Gahrahmat said. "There's a Whole Foods being constructed, so that should tell you something."