State Will Help Northern Ohio City with Flood Expenses

May 1, 2008

Finally, there’s some relief for city leaders and homeowners who have been dealing with month-long flooding in a few neighborhoods.

The state will reimburse the city for some of the costs to fight the flooding, and the water is going down.

It has been five weeks since water began coming up through the ground and flooding basements and roads in this northern Ohio town about halfway between Toledo and Cleveland.

A mix of heavy rains and melting snow in recent months left the ground saturated and the water had nowhere to go but up through cracks in the limestone buried beneath the town.

The water has buckled concrete basement floors, cracked foundations and closed several streets and roads, including a busy state highway.

City leaders estimate the flood has cost them about $500,000 so far. That includes damage to streets and sewer lines and the rental of pumps to keep the water from further flooding homes.

Safety-Service Director Jeff Crosby told city council members Monday night that the state will cover about $200,000 of its expenses, but it won’t pay for damaged roads or homes. “The roads really took a beating,” he said. “That’s going to come out of our coffers.”

“The state will pay for the pumps and man-hours used to set them up and keep them running,” said Crosby.

Much of the damage is centered on the north and east sides of the city and its surrounding townships. But most of the city is completely dry.

The water does appear to be going down, Crosby said. The city has removed four pumps that were helping control water levels.

Crosby also said the city’s sewage treatment plant is now treating about 2.8 million gallons a day compared with nearly 6 million gallons just a few weeks ago.

Normally, the plant treats about 800,000 gallons a day, he said.

Some homeowners, though, still have flooded basements and a few are still unable to live in their homes. Some don’t have natural gas service because the flooding damaged the gas lines.

“Those lines can’t be replaced until the water levels goes down,” said City Councilman Dave Freitag. “There’s people down there still hurting.”

City of Bellvue

Source: Gazette.

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