November 27, 2014

Elyria
Cloudy
31°F
test

Residents rescued, roads closed after severe storms move through Lorain County

The occupant of this car got out safely Monday on Fairwood Court at Arlington Court in Elyria. STEVE MANHEIM/CHRONICLE

The occupant of this car got out safely Monday on Fairwood Court at Arlington Court in Elyria. STEVE MANHEIM/CHRONICLE

By Evan Goodenow and Anna Merriman
Chronicle-Telegram staff

An intense storm swamped Lorain County Monday.

Basements and first floors of homes flooded, stranded drivers had to be rescued from their cars and there was a report of a funnel cloud briefly touching down in North Ridgeville. However, no major injuries or fatalities had been reported early this morning.

Three to five inches of rain fell between 5 and 10 p.m. Monday, said John Mayers, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Cleveland. Mayers said the funnel cloud was reported to have touched down about 7:55 p.m., but it couldn’t be confirmed.

North Ridgeville firefighters rescue residents stranded Monday night by heavy flooding. COURTESY OF D. SANDS

North Ridgeville firefighters rescue residents stranded Monday night by heavy flooding. COURTESY OF D. SANDS

The North Ridgeville Fire Department used four boats, three loaned to them by the county, to rescue people from cars and homes, said Assistant Fire Chief Scott Bement. He said the areas where rescues occurred included Highland Drive, Mills Creek Lane, Gina Drive and Pitts Boulevard.

Bement said three drivers had to be rescued and dozens of people were rescued from their homes. About 11 p.m., residents were being rescued from their homes on Sandstone Lane and Willowbrook Road near Center Ridge Road.

“Their first floors are flooded, so we’re getting them out of the second floors,” Bement said.

Bement said residents were bused to Fields United Methodist Church, 34077 Lorain Road. Rescues concluded at 1 a.m. in North Ridgeville, he said.

North Ridgeville’s fire department was among many kept busy by the storm after 6:30 p.m. when rain intensified. After a tornado warning about 6:45 p.m., Lorain Mayor Chase Ritenauer offered people leaving a City Council Streets and Utilities Committee meeting the option of sheltering in the City Hall basement. About a mile away at Lakeview Park, Kady Nelson of Amherst was parked and watching for funnel clouds on Lake Erie.

Lightning reflects in a flooded farmer’s field Monday night looking east from state Route 301 in Carlisle Township toward a storm over Grafton. BRUCE BISHOP/CHRONICLE

Lightning reflects in a flooded farmer’s field Monday night looking east from state Route 301 in Carlisle Township toward a storm over Grafton. BRUCE BISHOP/CHRONICLE

Nelson said she was on her way to get ice cream when she got a tornado warning on her phone. She decided to watch for a tornado at the park with her friend, Sarah Matthewson. “We thought it would be cool,” said Nelson, who said she is transferring from Lorain County Community College to Ohio State University to study atmospheric science in the fall.

However, the storm was uncool to Al Dgonc, 914 Mildred Ave., Lorain. Clad in a poncho in a heavy downpour about 7:40 p.m., Dgonc used a rake to try to unclog the sewer drain outside his home at the intersection of West Ninth Street.

Dgonc said his basement often floods when sewer drains back up in heavy rain. “If I can keep it open, it doesn’t back up,” he said.

On West Erie Avenue by the entrance to Lakeview Park about 8 p.m., two westbound cars were stuck in water up to the wheel wells.

“It’s crazy,” 18-year-old Abraham Rodriguez said as he stared at the cars. “I’ve never seen anything like it.”

By 8 p.m., Ritenauer said Lorain had seen “massive” flooding. “The sewer system has reached capacity,” he said.

Elyria’s sewers also were overwhelmed, said Elyria Safety Service Director Mary Siwierka. She said Elyria experienced fallen power lines, flooded cars and streets.

The Black River was estimated to reach 17 feet early this morning, according to the Weather Service. By 8 p.m. Monday, entire sections of Gulf Road, West River Road and state Route 57 in Elyria were under water.

“We can’t keep up with this,” Siwierka said. “No storm system can take this amount.”

While the rain diminished after 10 p.m., flooding remained immense. Vermilion had entire sections of road and residential areas flooded. Police called South Shore Courts “a lake.” The Vermilion River was expected to reach nearly 13 feet early this morning, according to the Weather Service.

Rural areas also flooded including Angela Boggs’ Eaton Estates home off state Route 83 in Eaton Township. Boggs said most of her belongings were under water.

Boggs said she and her daughter and her daughter’s boyfriend had been shoveling water out of the house for almost three hours. “It’s coming in the back door like a waterfall,” she said.

Siwierka, who remained in her office late Monday contacting various city workers, said the flooding was the worst she’d seen since Superstorm Sandy. “It’s too much water for the system,” she said.

Elyria police Sgt. Lee Frank concurred. “You name it, it’s everywhere,” he said.

Contact Evan Goodenow at 329-7129 or egoodenow@chroniclet.com.

Contact Anna Merriman at 329-7245 or amerriman@chroniclet.com.


  • Starryeyes63

    Isn’t that Fairwood Blvd, Not Court…….

  • GreatRedeemer

    Today would be a good day to pay it forward and help a friend or neighbor that may have been affected by the flooding.

  • Bob

    I bet all that snow and cold weather isn’t looking so bad now. LOL

  • LOLOLOL

    All those deniers should be helped last, You know because its not real.

    • Mark B

      The earth is 300 billion years old and man wrecked it in 200 years.
      Maybe we should start by canceling all un necessary uses of fuel like Nascar and flying sports teams all around the country. Oh and maybe Obama could stay in Washington for more than a week.

      • LOLOLOL

        You must have been upset when W took over a year off by this point in his Presidency.

        Yep an industrial revolution can wreck a lot of things.

        Glad you are paying attention as you know we have this thingy called science and we can make determinations of past trends and future forecasts.

        Crazy isnt it!

        • Mark B

          Science and politico science are 2 different things, why do you NEVER hear a local weather Person mention Climate Change ? The Climate Change Models are programed by Humans , the very same ones they claim are killing the planet , how can this be. Hum A meteor strikes the earth with enough magnitude to wipe out virtually all life , but yet the earth survived. How could that be ? One Large Volcanic eruption will cause the earth to cool many degrees, much more than the .001 ° the Politico Scientist claim.
          What happened to the coming of the next ice age predicted in the 60′s ? Never Happened.
          What happened to the Hole in the ozone layer that was going to let the sun burn our skin off .. Never Happened..
          What happened to Acid Rain that was going to kill us and all of the plants on Earth ? Never Happened.

        • HankKwah

          You must have been upset when W took over a year off by this point in his Presidency.

          LMAO

          Those democrats and their lies!!! Gotta love it!!

    • Starryeyes63

      uum weather is real

  • Starryeyes63

    OK what SUV’s caused multiple Ice ages, Or the fact that the US was once tropical and more recently what carbons caused the great dust bowl. Try cyclical.

    • B4CE

      Over farming caused by government incentives to move west and farm, without realizing the impact that it would have, coupled with a drought caused the dust bowl. So in reality, humans played a large part in creating the dust bowl.

      • Starryeyes63

        SUV’s ect did not cause the drought……..

        • B4CE

          I believe Your argument is that man has not caused weather phenomenon through global warming. Then you site the great dust bowl as proof that historic weather events happened prior to the idea of man adversely affecting his weather.
          In fact man and his policies did contribute to the great dust bowl. By Encouraging western expansion and over farming , man cleared land of its natural protection allowing drought conditions to kick up the dust. This impacted parts of the region that were not under drought conditions.
          You using the dust bowl as an example that that global warming can’t be man made is actually counter active to your argument. Just because there were no SUV’s back then, doesn’t eliminate the proof (in the case of the dust bowl) that man does indeed adversely affect his environmental weather.