As Flood Waters Pour In, Toledoans Feel Drained

Debris set at the curb after the first flooding could be seen floating away in the second flood.
Debris set at the curb after the first flooding could be seen floating away in the second flood.

TOLEDO -- Just as area flood victims were coming to grips with the mess and destruction left by the drenching rains two weeks ago, Mother Nature unleashed yet another fierce downpour Monday night. Now many of those who were already hit hard are hit again.

Folks in the Central-Powhattan neighborhood in west Toledo saw their street fill up with water, and the residents of Crawford Street -- site of so much suffering during the first round of flooding -- are seeing more than just standing water in the streets. They're watching their basements fill with water again.

In south Toledo, residents we spoke with are busy pumping water out of their basements, too. They say a foot of water entered their homes overnight.

With memories of the first flood still so fresh in their minds, people say they were very worried when they saw water rising in their homes for a second time. More rain means more clean-up for them -- and the city is trying to keep up with the calls for help. They say they've been responding to calls throughout the morning from people with flooded streets and basements

Connie Tesch, whose basement is flooded for the second time in as many weeks, says, "I panicked because of what I had just been through last week -- which was horrible." But even worse was knowing she had to go through it all again.

Airport Highway is one of the streets that was hard-hit Monday night. Flood waters made the roadway completely impassable. But plenty of drivers gave it a try anyway -- plowing through pools of water that reached halfway up their tires.

As if water isn't enough to worry about, for some the big problem was toppled trees -- including some that blocked roads. In Whitehouse, News 11 caught up with workers who were taking down a tree that had fallen into a power line. And another tree -- this time in the Waterville area -- landed in a homeowner's swimming pool. But the pool wasn't the only casualty in that incident. The family's shattered patio furniture lay beside the pool.

Many area residents also found themselves without electricity after the storm rolled through.

As we went from neighborhood to neighborhood on the Fourth of July holiday, we heard people expressing the same frustration. They don't think enough is being done to fix the city's flooding problem. While they vented their feelings, crews from the city's sewer and water distribution departments were out and about on what was to be a day off work -- looking for problem areas and taking corrective measures.

We tracked down one Toledo Edison repair crew that was working on a downed power line that caused an outage in the Navarre and Oak area. Toledo Edison reports scattered outages needing their attention -- not just here, but across Northwest Ohio.

If you see a downed power line, stay well clear of it, and report it to the company so they can take care of it. Repair crews are expected to spend the entire holiday working to restore power to those affected by the storm.

The damage caused by Monday night's storm is certainly no picnic, but at least Toledoans can take heart from this bit of good news: the damage this time isn't as bad as it was back on June 21st.

President George W. Bush has declared Lucas County a disaster area. Residents and business owners can apply for help by calling the Federal Emergency Management Agency toll-free at 1-800-621-FEMA. You can also call the City at 419-936-2020.

Posted by PJS