Taking Action to prevent your tires from being slashed on a busy Norfolk street

Posted at 5:29 PM, May 26, 2014
and last updated 2014-05-26 17:29:48-04

Several tires have been shredded and completely flattened because of a rigid broken off storm drain sticking out at the intersection of Boush Street and Onley Road in Downtown Norfolk. Many of those tires belonged to our own employees here at NewsChannel 3 and we are taking action to find out what the city is going to do to get the storm drain fixed.

“It needs to be fixed,” said Sev Gellam.

He owns a gallery off of Onley Road and takes that tight turn almost every day. He says the storm drain has been broken for weeks, causing serious problems for drivers.

“My assistant got a tire slashed coming around that corner and I`ve seen other people, I`ve seen it happen to them,” he said. “I’m very careful to make sure to make sure my tire doesn’t hit it because if it did I would have a flat tire.”

NewsChannel 3 reached out to the City of Norfolk Public Works spokeswoman Jeneen White, who says they already have plans to fix the storm drain after a complaint came into their office two weeks. But an employee here at NewsChannel 3 filed a claim with the City Attorney’s office almost two months ago, but White says her Public Works office didn’t know about it.

“I don`t even know if a claim was filed in April. I don`t have any knowledge of those claims,” White told NewsChannel 3 over the phone. “We only handle claims that come in through Public Works.”

So, NewsChannel 3 asked the City Attorney’s office is they communicate with Public Works when a claim like this comes in. A claims investigator says when it’s appropriate they will talk with whichever city department may be involved. He would not tell us if he communicated with public works on our employee’s claim, as he says he can’t comment on the case.

White recommends if you need the city to fix a problem to file a complaint directly with the Public Works department itself.

As for this storm drain, she says the problem is getting fixed this week according to the Public Works department. Right now, there is a barrier cone covering the broken storm drain. Workers will start will replace the existing drain with a stronger one, so if another car or truck runs over the train again, it won’t break off an in turn, no more tires will be slashed.