Crawford Ave. Residents Have a Decision to Make - News, Weather, Sports, Toledo, OH

Crawford Ave. Residents Have a Decision to Make

It's been nearly a year since residents along Crawford Avenue in west Toledo -- off Laskey near Burnham -- were under feet of water.

Now, the city has big plans to help folks in that neighborhood, and, as Colleen Wells reports, those plans involve demolition.

Rain water rushing into a storm drain is no longer something Bonnie Kalka takes for granted. For 13 years, she has lived on Crawford Avenue.

But in the last 10 months, her house has been one of many that has flooded -- repeatedly. "Every time it rains, we wonder if we're going to get flooded," Kalka says. "It's been a nightmare. The last year has been a real nightmare."

But, the city, wanting to alleviate the flooding problem, wants to buy several homes, tear them down and turn the property into green space.

"We applied for a grant from FEMA to acquire the worst damaged properties on Crawford," says Brian Schwartz, the mayor's spokesman.

If approved for the grant, the city will begin a $390,000 project of tearing down six vacant homes -- if the owners agree. "Vacant homes attract everything from rodents to drug dealers and drug users. Crawford isn't that kind of neighborhood, and we don't want it to become that kind of neighborhood," Schwartz says.

Though the damage from the flooding is still visible on Kalka's home, hers hasn't been selected to be demolished. She says moving isn't an option, but that she would agree to have her house torn down if it meant she could live without fear of rain.

For a look at video from last summer's flooding, click on the Big Red Box underneath our top story on wtol.com's home page.

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