See, Click, Fix: Missing Manhole Covers

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Take three missing manhole covers, mix that with young people in the area, and neighbors say it's a combination that equals danger.

Lillian Nixon took me for a walk on her family's wooded property off Little Rock Road in west Charlotte.  During our walk she showed me three raised manhole structures and each one of them was missing a manhole cover.

The manholes are part of a sewage line that goes across the property.

Lillian says people outside the family come onto the property and a lot of young people use it for four wheeling.  She's concerned about someone falling down one of the uncovered manholes.

I actually went down in one myself, there were ladder rungs attached inside that I climbed down on.

The one I went in was pretty deep, about nine feet, and if someone fell down the hole, it could be trouble.  They might break an arm or a leg or otherwise be injured.

And since this is out in a wooded area, even if you fell in and were shouting for help, no one might hear you and help might be hard to come by.

Lillian says the family first noticed the covers were missing about six months ago.

She says they called 3-1-1 to report the problem but they haven't had any response.

They have now.

Less than 12 hours after I contacted the Charlotte Mecklenburg Utilities Department, the problem is See, Click, FIXED.

Crews have been out and replaced each one of the three missing manhole covers, no small task either as it takes quite a bit of manpower to replace those things.

It should certainly prevent anyone from falling into those manholes.

And one other note here.  I have been advised by safety experts that I should NOT have gone down into that manhole as that can be very dangerous because of the possibility of sewer gases, lack of oxygen, or the presence of hydrogen sulfide and flammable gases.

I certainly won't do that again...and you shouldn't either.

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