Cleveland family says no one will clear tree blocking gas shutoff valve

Mature tree sits on top of emergency valve.

Cleveland family says no one will clear tree blocking gas shut off valve

CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - A tree is blocking an emergency gas shut off valve, posing a threat to a couple’s home.

“I purchased the home. I didn’t purchase the tree,” is how Tim Urban began describing the problem that was decades in the making.

The large tree in front of he and his wife Betty’s home has grown over the gas shut off valve. They estimate by at least a foot.

Various utilities have come out and marked their service. The yellow one at the base of the tree is the one that is a concern.

“They came out and did what they did as far as marking it, and once they found out, it’s like a critical point they just quit and there’s no response from anybody.”

He estimates it has been four or five months.

Since the tree is on the tree lawn, it is the responsibility of the city of Cleveland.

Some other trees on the street have been taken down.

A worry is that from time-to-time, they say they and neighbors smell gas.

There is a shut off in the basement, but in case of a fire, that wouldn’t be much help, if any.

Urban has another concern as well.

“If it’s leaking between the meter and the tree, then what? That’s the neighborhood,” he worried.

The couple has paperwork 3/4 of an inch thick detailing their concerns to utilities, agencies in Columbus, and largely, the city of Cleveland.

The city’s urban forestry department has been out and say the tree is also hollowed out.

19 News left a message with Mayor Jackson’s office. No response at this time.

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