City of Houston fixes uncovered drainage hole after construction worker nearly falls into it

Chaz Miller Image
Thursday, April 27, 2023
City covers giant hole after man calls Action 13 for help
A construction worker nearly fell into a drain storm hole that had been left uncovered. He turned to Action 13 after his calls to 311 went unanswered.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- A storm drain without a cover is now secure after a construction worker turned to Action 13 for help.

Albert Flores came to the 8100 block of Liberty in northeast Houston on Tuesday to work on some fiber-optic lines. He took a step on what he thought was some grass, but quickly realized there was a massive hole beneath his foot.

"I'd say it was probably 25 to 30 feet down," Flores said.

He said he's fortunate he didn't fall into the hole, and the reason he's not hurt is because he was paying close attention to his surroundings while navigating the overgrown area along the 610 feeder.

"It wasn't hazy or cloudy," he said.

Flores said he tried multiple times on Tuesday to get through to 311 to report the problem to the city of Houston in both English and Spanish, but kept getting kicked off the call before he could speak with a representative.

"My next step was to put some cones out, put some paint out, and put 'danger' because I didn't want anyone else to come across that hazard," Flores told ABC13 Thursday morning.

We reached out to the city of Houston, and shortly thereafter, they contacted Flores directly, and city crews had the hole covered by 4 p.m.

The Department of Administration and Regulatory Affairs, which runs 311, apologized to Flores for the inconvenience, and told anyone who can't get through to 311 on the phone should visit or download the mobile app.

"We don't want anyone falling in these holes, and I'm glad Channel 13 came out and was able to hear me out and let me voice my opinion out to the public," Flores said.

The city of Houston said they currently have 13 similar reports of missing covers across the city and urges anyone who encounters such a hazard to contact 311 via phone, website, or the app.

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