We uncovered a never before seen video that led us to ask hard questions about a mess trying up downtown for a month. It began on a Sunday morning as water started coming out of the ground. But, quickly, a little turned into a lot.
More and more water kept coming until it flooded the street with a pocket of water raging and churning.
The video comes from a City of Cleveland security camera at Ontario Street and St. Clair Avenue.
Hours later, the water had stopped. But, workers had to scramble to safety. The roadway collapsed leaving a huge crater.
It happened last month. But now you can still see a massive hole. So, the I-Team investigated.
The water kept gushing into the street right in front of Cleveland Police headquarters. But, on the video, we didn’t see an officer there until 25 minutes later.
The video shows the initial eruption is 59 minutes long. During that time, we never saw anyone from the Cleveland Water Department.
In the meantime, the I-Team wondered about the heavy equipment now there and streets closed for weeks.
What about the cost of all this to you? How much water rolled down the street? What more can we find out about what happened under the street, and what’s been involved in fixing it? We went to the Water Department, and a guard at the door told us someone would come down to speak with us.
Last month, the City said a plug on a main pipe gave out possibly due to some utility work.
For this story, no one from the Water Department or Mayor Justin Bibb’s office would talk to us or answer basic questions about what has tied up downtown for weeks.
The Water Department guard, finally, told us, “Nobody’s gonna come down. You’re on camera.”
We responded by saying, “So, they don’t come down because they’re afraid of being on camera?”
Councilman Brian Kazy says he will ask for an update at a hearing.
He said, “We’ll be asking at the next Utilities Committee. We just want to know what is happening. We know it’s a big project, and the Water Department is working as hard as they can.”
Many of you have seen the hole and the work going on to fix it.
The new video shows what led to that. The repairs are not affecting water service in that neighborhood, but they are still shutting down a main street in front of the Justice Center.