November 27, 2014

Elyria
Snow
28°F
test

Flooding not as bad as expected in Lorain

Still, many basements and roads flooded in city and across region

LORAIN — On the day after an isolated thunderstorm blanketed much of Northeast Ohio, a secretary in the Lorain mayor’s office appeared flustered as the phone rang once again.

A pile of carpet from the flooded basement of Joel and Judy Gesoh sits by the curb in Sheffield. 

By noon, about 30 people called complaining that their basements flooded and, by the time the office closed, maybe a dozen more rang in.

All in all, it wasn’t so bad for a city that sees more than its fair share of flooded basements.

“I expected significantly more calls,” Safety Service Director Mike Kobylka said.

It isn’t clear whether people have just become so accustomed to flooding that they don’t bother calling the city anymore, but one thing that is known is that Lorain wasn’t alone.

Soaked basements, flooded roadways and floating cars were the norm throughout the county and even in Cuyahoga County, where owners of million-dollar homes in Westlake to average abodes south of Cleveland were wading through water.

In Sheffield, a garbage bin was borrowed from Allied Waste and placed at the Service Department on Colorado Avenue for people to throw away waterlogged items. The bin will be available for use from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekdays through next week.

In Lorain, street crews spent the day cleaning debris from the roads while parks employees did the same for the city’s more than 50 parks.

Parks Director Bob Renney said Tuesday’s storm was mild compared to what he’s seen in the past.

“There was a big tree down in Central Park, and a number of other parks had big branches, but there wasn’t that wind that is usually associated with these storms,” he said. “We’ll have it all cleaned out by Friday.”

The East 21st Street railroad underpass, where an elderly couple drowned during a heavy rainstorm in 2005, was dried out by the time the sun set Tuesday, and the 20 roads that were closed in Lorain were reopened.

Kobylka said a new sewer line will be installed near the underpass in the next month that is expected to end all the flooding there.

“Water seeks the lowest point, so it goes into the underpass, so the idea is to cut it off before it gets there,” Kobylka said.

Contact Adam Wright at 653-6257 or awright@chroniclet.com.