Safety concerns heightened after Flats drowning

Safety concerns heightened after Flats drowning

DOWNTOWN CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - This past weekend's drowning is renewing concerns about the dangers of the Cuyahoga River along the Flats and what it could do to the revitalization effort.

Many enjoy the Cuyahoga River downtown by boat or alongside taking a stroll, like Taylor Fiktus.

"I love everything about being down here, so I can walk the dog and everything," she says.
 
The East Bank of the Flats is coming back. But Saturday's drowning brings back memories of how the area used to be.

"If it's publicly in the news like that, it's going to take away from the new aspects of the draw of it," said John Lann, who works in the Flats.

In 2000, there were three drownings in one month. Those drownings had visitors concerned for their safety and the Flats went downhill.

To prevent this from happening again, Fiktus has suggestions: "More authority figure people around and watch everything."  

A source says Third District Police are responsible for the area, but cannot do regular patrols because they are understaffed. Besides one small sign,
there are no warnings about the water or no swimming allowed.

Sabrina Pruitt agrees more police would prevent more accidents. She says guests who go to the Flats to drink alcohol are influenced to try the impossible.

"I came through last week and they were all around here, the whole thing was crowded and they were drinking," said Pruitt.

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