Cleanup underway at Side Cut, Riverside Cemetery after ice, flood damage

Cleanup underway at Side Cut, Riverside Cemetery after ice, flood damage

MAUMEE, OH (Toledo News Now) - Cleanup has begun at Side Cut Metropark and Riverside Cemetery, which both took heavy damage when ice jams in the Maumee River caused the area to flood.

Officials with the Metroparks of Toledo Area say they're looking for volunteers to help with the cleanup.

"The ice jams have created a lot of debris that have come up from the river," said Patricia Hausknecht, volunteer manager for the Metroparks. "This is your community park. This is something that is really special to the people of this area and this is a way to give ownership to you."

They're looking for about 20 volunteers to help for the next couple days. On Saturday, 75 University of Toledo students will be helping.

"The community response has been wonderful," Hausknecht said. "This is something that the community really enjoys, this park system, and we are so grateful and blessed that so many people want to give back to the park."

At the cemetery, 90 percent of the approximately 1900 headstones were dislodged from their foundation. About 20 were replaced Tuesday.

But the three-feet-high ice chunks that damaged the cemetery are still there, making cleanup difficult. They're melting, but not fast. Until they do, workers can't fully assess the damage.

Volunteers are helping clean up the park. Design Memorial is getting a group of volunteers from their company to help reset the headstones on Monday.

Metroparks volunteer John Cunningham says he has plots at Riverside Cemetery and says the damage must be hard to see for the people who have loved ones buried there.

"It was heartbreaking to hear that, and I can only imagine the people that have relatives down there, what they're going through," Cunningham said.

Maumee city leaders say as long as ice is on the side of the road, the cemetery will be closed.

For information on volunteering, visit the Metroparks website.

Follow Toledo News Now:

Copyright 2015 Toledo News Now. All rights reserved.