Ohio Flooding Leads to Rescues, Evacuations, Road Closures

August 22, 2007

The fire department in the north-central Ohio town of Bucyrus used a boat to rescue families from flooded homes Tuesday morning as rain continued to linger in a region that had already received several inches since Monday.

The National Weather Service issued flood warnings and watches for counties west and south of Toledo all the way east to Youngstown and Steubenville.

The Ohio State Highway Patrol said high water on the highway led troopers to divert traffic after shutting down a seven-mile stretch of I-75 in northwest Ohio between Beaverdam and Bluffton. There was no immediate word on how long the interstate, one of the nation’s main north-south thoroughfares, would remain closed.

Just east of that area, the sheriff’s office urged motorists to stay out of Wyandot County because of extensive flooding after more than 8 inches of rain fell, Lt. Neil Riedlinger said.

Throughout the county, authorities were busy Tuesday rescuing motorists whose vehicles had become submerged and residents who had water coming into their homes.

The downtown in the village of Carey was under about three feet of water, and the Carey Nursing & Rehabilitation Center was evacuated, Riedlinger said.

An aide answering the phone at the home said 28 residents were being transferred to Wyandot Memorial Hospital.

Live television footage from Mansfield on Tuesday morning showed a man slogging through water up to his waist in an industrial part of the town about 60 miles north of Columbus.

In Shelby, about 12 miles northwest of Mansfield, the Black Fork River overflowed, closing roads and flooding homes and businesses. Police evacuated two roads nearest the river, which runs directly through the center of town, according to dispatcher Renee Seibolt.

South of Mansfield, high winds that accompanied the arrival of the storms Monday afternoon left several homes and a barn with roof damage in the community of Bellville. A tree fell on one house, landing three feet from a bed where a woman was sleeping. There were no injuries.

The area had been under a tornado watch, but the National Weather Service received no reports of a tornado touchdown, meteorologist Gary Garnet said Tuesday.

More than 2 inches of rain fell Monday in Cleveland, pushing the month’s total over 8 inches and breaking the August record of 6.36 inches set in 1919.

Parts of northeast Ohio got nearly 5 inches. The downpour left basements and low-lying roads and parking lots swamped.

Near Akron, teachers preparing for the opening of Norton’s Cornerstone Elementary School ended up heaving sandbags for a while to hold back floodwaters from the doorway.

The American Red Cross opened emergency shelters for people forced to leave their homes because of flooded basements in the Akron area.

Was this article valuable?

Here are more articles you may enjoy.