CLEVELAND - The FOX 8 I TEAM is investigating what’s being done about chronic flooding problems in Cleveland caused by clogged storm drains. Last week we saw a woman rescued from the top of her car on Harvard in very high water, RTA trains unable to roll on flooded tracks, and Councilman Brian Kazy even waded into high water on the far west side to unclog a storm drain.
Stanley Czworkowski runs a heavy-duty repair shop on Harvard. He says his parking lot has also been flooded repeatedly as it was the other day. "Pretty much shut me down for a couple hours cause they had the road closed. Nobody could get down here. I pretty much paid ‘em and we watched the water."
Monday, we saw a city crew cleaning out clogged storm drains on Harvard, so we went to the city Division of Water Pollution Control. We wondered how often are the drains checked?
Deputy Commissioner Ramona Lowery told us, Cleveland has 43, 500 storm drains. Many get cleaned only once every 3 years. But those in problem areas get more attention. She also said, even cleaning a drain is no guarantee of no flooding. Lowery said, "If we cleaned it right before the storm, the day before the storm, and you have debris on there that may be carried by the rain or storm occurrence like we had that day (last week) you're gonna have an issue."
Lowery adds, the drains on Harvard have been cleared 7 times since 2014.
However, folks we met there couldn’t remember seeing it. Stanley Czworkowski reacted to seeing the crew on Monday by saying, "Ah that was the first truck we saw to actually come and clean the sewers. On the street.”
The city adds it has 6 inspectors going around to check for problem drains. And, the Division of Water Pollution Control has a new computer mapping system to keep track of which drains have been cleaned and which haven’t.
The city also wants to hear from you.