Boil alert lifted as crews continue cleanup process

CLEVELAND – More than 24 hours after a huge part of a Downtown Cleveland water main busted, the pipe has been repaired, enabling city officials to lift a boil alert five hours earlier than had been anticipated, Action News reported.

On Tuesday morning, hundreds of gallons of water poured onto the streets after a massive water main broke.

The problem actually began on Monday evening when crews started to work on a cracked pipe at the intersection of East 24th Street and Payne Avenue. They were to continue working on the major water main when it the cracked portion of it busted just before 9 a.m. on Tuesday.

It forced authorities to issue a boil alert from Lake Erie to Euclid Avenue going north to south and from East 40th Street to East 9th Street going east to west. That boil alert, however, has been lifted even though it was originally scheduled to stay in effect until 5 p.m.

Five blocks of the city were transformed into a huge, wet mess after the 36-inch pipe broke.

The water main is a major supply pipe for parts of Downtown Cleveland.

Despite completing the pipe repair project, authorities continue to urge motorists to stay clear of the area while they clean up and fix the road. According to city officials, a portion of Payne Avenue will remain blocked off to motorists until Friday's morning rush hour.

Sandy Jaffe and Harvey Madvid, two people who frequently walk through the area, said that they wouldn't want to trade places with the men working on the cleanup project.

"I wouldn't want to do it in good weather, and it's awful out here," Jaffe said.

"It's lucky that it happened today," Madvid said. "Two days from now, it's supposed to be snowing. So, they got a break."

Downtown businesses like the Hunt Club Bar and Grill spent much of Tuesday stocking up on bottled water. Hunt Club worker Larry Thomas said that it was a minor inconvenience to avoid a major health risk.

The Cleveland Health Department worked the phones to get the word out, alerting more than 300 businesses of the water danger -- a danger that is no more thanks to the had work of city crews.