Wednesday, August 31, 2016
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This year's rainfall comparable to 2013 so far

By Anna Merriman, Steve Fogarty and Lisa Roberson

Chronicle-Telegram staff

A heavy storm on Tuesday swept through LaGrange farmer Ron Pickworth’s field, submerging much of his hard work under pools of dirty rainwater. The crops could die if the water doesn’t go away soon. Pickworth is unable to use his equipment in the flooded fields.

“All we can do is wait and hope,” Pickworth said.

Tuesday’s storm was just the latest in a string of heavy rains, flooded schools and people rescued from their own homes in boats.

Surprisingly enough, the rainfall this year is not abnormal compared to recent years, according to the National Weather Service at Lorain National Airport.

This June, Lorain County has seen 5.02 inches of rainfall so far, less than the 6.45 inches in June 2013. The county was hit with about 17 inches of rain during the first six months of the year in both 2013 and 2014.

“It’s just one of those cycles,” said Brian Mitchell of the National Weather Service. “It fluctuates.”

The news may surprise many Lorain County residents. In May, a severe storm left people stranded in their cars on the road, while North Ridgeville residents were rescued from their flooded houses in boats.

Though not as severe as other storms this spring, Tuesday’s rain caused its own damage, producing standing water in fields and on many roads in rural areas.

Elyria was hit particularly hard in the storm. Nearly 2.75 inches of rain in a 24-hour period pushed the city’s system to capacity.

“I don’t know if our weather patterns are changing for sure, but I know our system has been pushed a lot lately, ” said Safety Service Director Mary Siwierka.

Multiple streets in Elyria saw flooding on Tuesday, including East River Street and University Avenue, while a woman reported being stuck in her car on Washington Avenue because of high water.

“It doesn’t take long to push the monthly totals up,” Mitchell said Wednesday. “You just need a night like last night.”

Contact Anna Merriman at 329-7245 or amerriman@chroniclet.com. Follow her on Twitter at @AnnaLMerriman. Contact Steve Fogarty at 329-7146 or sfogarty@chroniclet.com. Contact Lisa Roberson at 329-7121 or lroberson@chroniclet.com. Follow her on Twitter @LisaRobersonCT.

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