Cars stuck in ice after Tremont water main break

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CLEVELAND – People living in one section of Tremont spent much of the day trying to free their cars from the ice after an overnight water main break flooded the area.

“It’s kind of like a scene from frozen,” said Ryan Morgan, who lives nearby.

A 30-inch water main broke at West 14th Street and Clark Avenue Wednesday night, causing water to flow across several city blocks. The water rose so quickly that many people with cars parked on West 12th Street could not move their cars to higher ground in time.

“I screamed a lot actually. I tried to run out and get in my car. I didn’t realize it was as deep,” said Michelle Stefanec. “When I was on the phone with my insurance company they said, ‘do you live by the river?’ And I was like, ‘Well, when I went to bed I did not and this morning I do.'”

Ice several inches thick surrounded most vehicles’ tires. Some that were illegally parked or blocking the road were towed out, but most people said they weren’t planning to move their vehicles until the ice melts.

“I got some advice to just let it be until we melt out,” Stefanic said. “Might be more damage trying to pull it out than if you just let it defrost.”

Cleveland Water said water service was restored to the area by 3:45 a.m. Thursday, but repair work on the water main was expected to last until next week. Neighbors said the intersection where the main broke has been a long time problem spot.

“That corner has always had either cones or water crews for years. There’s always something at that corner where that main ended up blowing,” Morgan said. “I don’t know if it’s our ancient infrastructure, but something has to be done.”

A Cleveland Water Department spokesperson said the water main is one of the oldest in the city and was installed in 1887.

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