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As boil advisory lifted, Cleveland Water warns freezing temperatures could bring more breaks

Repairs continue after water main break on Engle Rd
Posted at 5:47 PM, Jan 29, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-29 18:35:35-05

STRONGSVILLE, Ohio — Cleveland Water announced it was safe to drink the water in parts of Strongsville and Middleburg Heights Tuesday afternoon. About 2,000 homes and businesses had been under a boil advisory after a water main broke under Engle Road Monday morning.

The city says it's still trying to determine what caused the 36 inch water main, which was installed in 1961, to break. Plans are to send the concrete pipe away for forensic testing.

"Most of these breaks are by virtue of the whole issue of freeze and thaw," said City of Cleveland Chief Operating Officer Darnell Brown. "So as the ground freezes, the ground moves, shifts and creates pressure on the pipes and pipes break."

With temperatures expected to drop below zero, and then warm-up above freezing later this week, Brown says more water main breaks are a concern.

"It's supposed to be in the 40s by the weekend, it's going to play havoc with what's happening," said Brown.

It's the last thing workers wanted to think about at Mitchell's Ice Cream in Strongsville. The store closed Monday after homes and businesses were told they'd have to boil any water used to drink or prepare food.

"It's hard," said Casey Karohl, a worker at Mitchell's. "I mean, I'm a huge ice cream lover so if I lived in the area and the store wasn't open, I'd be upset too."

After more than a day of turning away customers, Karohl says the only frozen thing she wants to see is what she packs into pints.

"When you're not taking care of customers and greeting people, and being able to scoop ice cream, your days go by a little slower," she said.

Cleveland Water says it has crews ready to work overtime and contractors on-call to deal with any water main breaks the weather may bring.