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Cold weather leads to burst pipes, flooding throughout Northeast Ohio

Posted at 4:48 PM, Dec 26, 2022

CLEVELAND — The temperatures are slowly climbing from the deep freeze of the holiday weekend, but Northeast Ohioans are still dealing with issues that rolled in with the winter weather. Some are cleaning up from pipes that froze, burst and flooded homes.

“This is what I have to wear inside my apartment,” said Marvin Pope, who lives in the Riverview Towers apartment building in Ohio City, gesturing to his hat and layers of clothing. “I have this [jacket], a [sweat]shirt, a T-shirt.”

The heat has been out at the CMHA property for several days. Pope believes it contributed to several burst pipes and a loss of hot water in the building.

“They’ve cleaned the majority of it up, don’t get me wrong. I understand pipes burst. But you know why pipes burst? Because there’s no heat,” he said.

On Monday, Pope pointed out four different gaping holes with dripping water in the building’s lobby and explained several other floors were experiencing similar flooding issues.

It was a similar scene at a West Side CMHA property called Crestview Estates. Workers were mopping the lobby after a pipe there burst Monday morning. Managers explained, it too was experiencing heat and hot water outages.

Lost heat and bursting pipes were not exclusive to CMHA properties. Plumbers said they were receiving nearly nonstop calls for service over the holiday weekend.

“We had frozen everything: frozen drain lines, frozen water lines. You name it, we had it,” said Christopher Baggott, the owner of Northeast Plumbing and Mechanical.

The Lakewood-based plumber told News 5 Sunday he braced for a busy weekend when he saw the forecast of frigid temperatures.

“Frozen pipes happen because people have inadequate insulation, improper placement of piping inside walls and/or ceilings or the heat goes out,” he explained. “If your heat goes out, the best thing you can do is shut off your water and wait for the heat to come back on to limit the damage.”

Pope hoped the heat and hot water would be back soon. The 60-year-old said the cold inside his apartment building has been brutal for him and his neighbors.

“I cannot function like this,” he said. “I can’t function. There’s nothing I can do.”

News 5 reached out to CMHA. A spokesperson there said the housing authority was working to remedy the problems and issued the following statement.

Plumbers expect another busy week as the temperatures rebound because the thaw may lead to leaking pipes.

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