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AKRON -- The extreme temperatures Northeast Ohio has experienced this winter are not only taking a harsh toll on area roadways but below the surface as well.

In fact a record number of water main breaks have occurred this winter in cities all over the region.

"We had about 100 breaks in January, almost 50 this month, and generally in an entire year we'll have anywhere from 250-275," explained Rick Forsythe, Superintendent of Akron Water Distribution.

"This weather hit and this is probably the worst weather we've seen in about 20 years here for our water department."

According to Forsyth crews in Akron have been working 12-16 hour shifts in some cases seven days a week to keep up with the volume of calls they have been receiving.

"We've been responding to probably 400-500 frozen meters, burst lines, frozen hydrants…this has been the worst we've seen in quite some time," he said.

It's a story shared by many cities across Northeast Ohio.

According to the Cleveland Water Department there were 639 water main breaks in December and January, compared to 452 during the same period last year, and only 348 the year before that.

The Cleveland water department has also been assisting other surrounding areas plug and patch leaks.

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