December 22, 2014

Elyria
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Eaton Estates residents blame township for flooding woes

EATON TWP. — Residents of Eaton Estates, fed up with poor drainage in their neighborhood, blame the problem for damaging homes and turning yards into rivers after rains.

Mary Renaldo, 51, 12104 Alton Drive, lives in the home she grew up in and said over the past year the neighborhood has flooded multiple times. She said she will be late paying her property taxes this year because she has had to spend so much money fixing flood damage.

“People have been trying to get the township to fix this and no one wants to do anything,” Renaldo said. “Every time it rains now, we’re all getting flooded. I’ve walked around and some of the drains aren’t even taking in the water. It’s just flowing over them.”

At a recent Eaton Township board meeting, residents asked trustees if there is a plan to fix the drainage. Trustee Randy Houston said drains in the neighborhood can’t handle large amounts of rain in a short time.

“None of that drainage up there is prepared to take three inches of rain in two hours,” he said. “That’s what we had the other night — 3.6 inches of rain at my house on Island Road in a couple hours.”

Houston said crews are removing debris, including a refrigerator and trash can, from ditches in the area.

Trustee Jason Monschein said the township is beginning to address poor drainage.

“Crews will work their way from (state Route) 82 up through the ditch (near Eaton Estates),” he said. “The second phase will be how to replace the (drain) tile.”

One problem is that Eaton Township has only three full-time workers to take care of ditch cleaning, drain projects and other township maintenance issues.

“We’re not a big city,” Monschein said.

Jerry Jarrett, 64, 12133 Eaton Blvd., attended the meeting to support Renaldo and other neighbors. Jarrett has lived in his home since 1980 and he said there never used to be flooding issues in Eaton Estates.

Although Jarrett’s home has not been damaged by flooding, he said his yard turns into a river that flows into Renaldo’s yard.

“It is a problem,” Jarrett said. “Eaton Boulevard looks like a river every time we get a hard rain. It looks like a river on both sides.”

Jarrett said until something is done, aggravation will continue to build.

“I see what’s happening and I’m lucky I haven’t been damaged,” Jarrett said. “But even outside, we can’t do home improvements. You can’t put mulch down or nothing because it all just washes away.”

Renaldo said she won’t accept the excuse that the flooding is simply a matter of heavy rains.

“All the drains need to be checked out and fixed,” Renaldo said. “I’ve pretty much been in this house my whole life, 51 years. When it rains, we should not get flooded like this. Everybody is running out of money.”

Contact Jon Wysochanski at 329-7123 or jwysochanski@chroniclet.com.