ABC13 gets results after complaint of uncovered sewer vault in Midtown

September 14, 2012 4:36:50 PM PDT
You better watch where you step when walking through Midtown. The city has finally replaced a cover on a so-called sewer vault that was apparently taken several months ago, but only after one woman reportedly was injured by stepping into the hole.

The good news is the sewer vault was covered Friday afternoon after we started making calls about it. The bad news is it's a chronic problem caused by thieves.

At first glance, it didn't look like much.

"The woman had tripped into the hole, her foot had gone up to the knee and they were trying to figure out what to do about the lacerations," witness Sarah Frazier said.

But what looked like a puddle was actually an uncovered vault, a couple of feet deep leading to a water or sewer line.

Frazier works at a law firm next to the Midtown sidewalk where the vault was uncovered for months. She saw one woman fall into it.

She says a co-worker reported it back in April.

"They came, they flushed it out, they never put a lid on it," Frazier said.

Frazier says the hole sat for months without a cover.

But Alvin Wright with the city of Houston says a lid was put on it.

"What we find in the city is that there are individuals who are stealing infrastructure metal, they're stealing storm grates, they're stealing the metal covers, they're stealing water meter tops as well," Wright said.

And that's what happened here, he says. But after we made a phone call.

"It's there. You can say Channel 13 did it," Wright said.

That's good news to the folks who work and live and play in this Midtown neighborhood.

"There's a lot of pedestrians increasing," Frazier said.

The woman fell in over the Labor Day weekend. The city says the last complaint about it was the day after the holiday weekend, September 4.

Meanwhile, if you see a missing vault cover, manhole, or storm grate, you are urged to call 311.


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