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East End family displaced twice by water main break are back home, facing new hurdle

Posted at 3:35 PM, May 11, 2021

CINCINNATI — Riverside Drive road and water main line repairs are finished roughly four months after one of Greater Cincinnati Water Works' largest water mains broke, creating a sinkhole so large that it swallowed a car.

The Jan. 2 break also caused flooding in several nearby family homes, and, while one family is finally back in their house after being displaced for months, they told WCPO Tuesday there are still hurdles ahead.

Jane Crabb lives in one of those homes with her daughter, Ashley Crabb, and two grandchildren. They lost a washer, dryer, living room furniture, furnace, refrigerator -- along with the food inside it -- and Christmas presents for the children.

By the time we checked back in, weeks later, donations already had started pouring in.

“I am so thankful to the people that stepped up,” said Crabb.

In February, Water Works said the main broke in a new spot, flooding the Crabb home again. This time, a sinkhole swallowed an excavator.

WCPO is still waiting for the city to answer what caused the breaks.

Meantime, the disruptions to the Crabbs' lives have persisted.

“I had to drive 45 minutes at three o’clock in the morning to see the damage that I had,” said Crabb.

The hotel the water company provided was more than 20 miles from her job and a two-hour bus ride to the children's schools. So, the family is glad to be home now.

They say the next hurdle will be getting the city to pay for damages.

“They're just saying get it fixed, get it replaced, and we may reimburse you. Submit a claim, and we may reimburse you,” said Crabb.