Extreme cold triggers more than a dozen Cleveland water main breaks

(Source: WOIO)
(Source: WOIO)

BROOK PARK, OH (WOIO) - Below freezing temperatures are causing water main breaks across the area that are impacting hundreds of homes.

Crews working for the Cleveland Water Department have been hard at work making repairs, but it's tough to keep up. Tuesday afternoon alone, 15 crews were out fixing water main breaks, including one at West 82nd Street and Almira Avenue, which is next to Kelly Susak's home.

"I see a huge mess, a huge catastrophe. I see the infrastructure of our great city faltering terribly in front of my house," said Susak.

The water main break left Susak's street covered in slush.

"When I saw all that ice, I was absolutely horrified actually because I thought, I'm never going to get out of my driveway. There's no way. This is ice and water and then it kept getting closer and closer," she said.

Susak said she's had an ongoing water issue at the intersection in front of her home. Her basement has flooded in the past, and she said water seeps through the foundation of her nearly century-old home.

Since the water main break, her water pressure has been low and she stocked up on bottled water, just in case.

Because of the extreme cold, Cleveland Water officials said people across the area are dealing with similar problems, but no boil water advisories are in effect.

"The calls we're receiving into our call center have probably tripled in recent weeks. We've gotten, (Tuesday) alone, 114 calls from midnight (through 2 p.m.). Normally, we'd get 50 to 60 calls all day," said Cleveland Water Chief of Distribution Kim Thompson.

Judging by the frigid forecast, Tuesday likely won't be the last day crews will be working overtime in freezing temperatures to fix water main breaks, but Thompson said they're prepared for the worst. Some days crews work eight-hour shifts and other days they work 16-hour shifts.

If you need to report a water issue, call the Cleveland Water Department's 24-hour emergency line at 216-664-3060.

Water main breaks are fixed on a priority basis. The city said all service calls will be investigated.

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