By Jeff Gallatin
North Olmsted’s service department and Cleveland Division of Water workers were kept busy Wednesday and Thursday dealing with an assortment of water-related issues.
Heavy rains led to North Olmsted’s Service Department getting 27 calls about water-related issues during the time frame, safety/service Director Scott Thomas said Friday. In addition, North Olmsted officials had to notify the Cleveland water department about a water line break that had portions of Columbia Road between Lorain and Brookpark roads closed for several hours Thursday.
“It was busy, no doubt about it,” Thomas said. “But we were managing to deal with all the different issues.”
Thomas said the southwestern portion and the Bretton Ridge area got hit even harder by the rains than other portions of the city.
“The western portion of the city got about 3.62 inches of rain in a little over two hours, while the eastern portion of the city got about 2.1 inches of rain in about the same time period,” Thomas said. “It was a lot to deal with at one time.”
Thomas said the calls were spread out among flooding in basements and backyards, water in construction work in the Stafford Road area and overflow from creeks affecting the area. Thomas said many of the water problems stemmed from overflow from the storm sewers, but said there were a few problems with sanitary sewers as well during the heavy rains.
“We were checking on a number of different issues,” he said. “We’re looking into what was causing the overflow issues and will work on ways of dealing with those issues in the future.”
Referring to the Thursday waterline break on Columbia Road, Thomas said North Olmsted officials were notified about the break around 6:30 a.m.
“It was pretty visible since the water was shooting about 4 feet up into the air,” he said.
Since the Cleveland water department handles North Olmsted’s water, it sent crews to deal with the problem, he said. A portion of the Columbia Road area around the break was closed and traffic rerouted for several hours while workers fixed the break.
“I’m sure it affected at least a few people’s water pressure, but they got the problem fixed relatively quickly,” Thomas said.
Thomas said the problem was fixed by the afternoon and the road opened up to traffic again a short time later. He said workers haven’t pinpointed what caused the leak yet.
“It’s an aging infrastructure for a lot of the waterlines,” he said.
Lou Brossard, chairman of City Council’s Streets and Transportation Committee, said the problems were dealt with in a good manner.
“Getting in the area of 20 calls is good considering that it was a pretty heavy rain,” he said. “All the work the city put into measures in the last couple of years on dealing with flooding and heavy rains is paying off for us.”