CAREY, OHIO -- The sheriff of Wyandot County says it's the worst flooding he's seen in 30 years. Portions of the county and the city of Carey are still under water after a massive flood on Tuesday. The flood emergency has been lifted for the county, but the city is still dealing with waist-high water on some streets of Carey.
As much as 9 inches of rain fell on parts of northwest Ohio in a storm Monday night into Tuesday morning. By the time the skies cleared on Tuesday, it was obvious that streams and ditches could not keep up with the massive deluge.
By the afternoon, officials called for a mandatory evacuation of several blocks of downtown Carey after the water covered streets and sidewalks, and started to fill downtown businesses. Power was cut to most of the area. "It's the worst I've seen in 20 years," Carey Village Administrator Roy Johnson told News 11's media partner the Findlay Courier.
Many of the residents of Carey ended up at a Red Cross shelter at the Ridge Chapel Church of the Nazarene. They were told they had to leave their homes and run for their lives. Melinda Harmon said she actually wanted to stay. "We thought we could, just to be stubborn, you know," said Harmon as she held her infant daughter.
"Our stuff was floating, our shoes, we had toys, and buckets of toys, there was stuff out there from storage, and it was all floating up the road, and we had to run and catch it," Harmon added.
We visited Harmon's street, Dow Street, on Tuesday evening, and there was no power, and deep flood waters. Yet grandmother Ramona Brooks wanted to come back. "We just don't know what's going on back home, and we just want to go back," said Brooks.
"As they were bringing us out in the boats, some of my personal belongings went floating down the street," said Brooks. "I said, 'Please, just let me get out and get my stuff.'"
"And the fireman said, 'Look forward, and don't look back. Everything back behind us is replaceable. What's in this boat isn't if we don't keep going,'" Brooks added, her voice trailing off.
Mark Gossman, a County Road 96 resident, spent Tuesday evening on his mother's East Findlay Street porch watching traffic go by that had been routed from Ogg Road. The road is a designated a detour from U.S. 23, which was closed off. He spent a large portion of the day directing traffic in that spot. "There's a lot of semis coming through here and people can't get in and out," he told our media partner the Findlay Courier. "So I just went out and started directing traffic."
Some people made the best of a bad situation in Carey. The city's fire chief says he saw a man on Findlay Street trying to catch carp that were running along the sidewalks. We're told he was not successful.
Count on News 11 to follow this story as it develops.
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