The Browns plan to have their locker room rebuilt and their stadium ready for Cleveland’s first preseason game after a waterfall containing thousands of gallons of water and some sewage flooded the eight-year-old structure.
Old pipes in Cleveland’s water system are largely to blame, city and stadium officials said. Iron deposits flaked off the inside of the pipes and clogged toilet valves, causing a 160,000-gallon holding tank to overflow.
“Picture a waterfall,” said Carl Meyer, Browns vice president of security and logistics.
The overflow left 6 inches of water in the locker rooms and lower service level of the stadium, including food service areas.
Browns spokesman Bill Bonsiewicz, speaking over the roar of an enormous machine removing humidity from the locker room area, reiterated that the stadium will be ready for the Browns’ first preseason game Aug. 11 against the Kansas City Chiefs.
To fix the problem, Cleveland director of utilities Julius Ciaccia said the city will flush the pipes, scrape out the iron deposits and line the inside of the pipes with cement, as has been done with other pipes in the city that date to before the 1950s. The city also will give the stadium a second connection into the water system.
Those repairs and improvements will cost the city about $120,000, but no dollar estimate was given on removing the standing water and replacing plumbing and interior fixtures. In the Browns’ spacious locker room, the carpet, wood lockers and ceiling all had to be replaced. The only things left in the barren room were televisions mounted on the walls.
Browns chief administrative officer Lew Merletti said it was too soon to determine how much would be covered by insurance.
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