Euclid business owners blame city water main replacement project for flood damage

Published: Sep. 8, 2023 at 7:50 PM EDT
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EUCLID, Ohio (WOIO) - Some Euclid business owners have been hit with thousands of dollars of flood damage.

They say a water main replacement project is to blame. The videos speak for themselves.

Roseland Avenue in Euclid was under feet of water back in early July.

It cost the owner of ConstrucSTAR Group, Ishmell Owens, around $200,000 of damage.

Heavy rain rushed in nearly a foot of water into his business.

But, Owens says, it wasn’t just the rain that caused the damage.

It was the covers blocking the storm drains that were put in for a Euclid water main replacement project.

“At that point I decided to remove the barriers to the storm drains to allow the water to drain myself because the contractor said that under no circumstances could they be removed throughout the duration of the project,” said Owens.

There were two more heavy rain events after Owens removed the drain covers.

As Owens shows us in a video, the streets still flooded, but the water didn’t make it to his business.

Even Euclid Councilman Wallace Tanner agreed, the devastating flood damage to local businesses could have been prevented.

“There should have been some type of contingency just in case it rained,” said Councilman Tanner. “This should have been thought out during the process of this job.”

So who’s responsible? The contractor, Trax Construction, who blocked the storm drains? Or the city of Euclid?

We received this statement from Euclid’s mayor:

“The contractor, Trax Construction placed inlet protection on the storm drains during the saw cutting off the road to prevent concrete slurry from entering the catch basins. These basins do discharge to Lake Erie and Trax Construction used inlet protection that is approved for this purpose. The basins were never completely blocked off at any time during this project. During the time the inlet protection was on the basins there was multiple rain events. One storm in particular dropped 1″ of rain in 60 minutes flooding many local roads. The property owner to our knowledge has not reached out to Trax Construction or The City of Euclid Law Department to date.”

We also reached out to Trax Construction and were forced to leave a message.

Business owners in Euclid are still looking for answers as to who will take responsibility for their devastating flooding.

In the mean time, their looking into legal action.