Vermilion Flooding Victim: ‘It Was Terrible’

VERMILION, Ohio — Flooding problems continue along the Vermilion River in Vermilion.

While the water has receded a bit, the ice jams remain.

At its peak this weekend, the river reached about seven feet above flood stage. And, with nowhere else to go, water and blocks of ice came crashing into homes on Riverside Drive.

Hugh Coyle, who has lived there 35 years, said this is the second worst flooding he has seen.

“It was terrible. We thought the ice was going take out the whole street, houses, everything — pretty bad,” he said.

While the water has receded about two feet since Saturday, dozens of homes are still surrounded by a wall of water.

“There are houses down the street that are actually choked off from everything and in the middle of this ice. They have a real serious problem,” Coyle said.

Homeowners like Coyle who can get to their property are finding a lot of damage and a lot of cleaning up to do. There was about four feet of water on the first floor of his home.

“All the cabinets are destroyed. The floor is destroyed, the carpet,” he said.

Coyle said he most likely will have to replace the refrigerator, the stove and couches, too.

This is the second ice jam on the Vermilion River this winter, and Coyle said it could happen again.

“If it snows on top of that or rains on top, we’re going to be in a lot of trouble,” he added.

Ice jams are unpredictable. So, the people along the Vermilion River can only watch, wait and wonder what will happen next.

“Eventually it’s going to break apart, and that’s when tragedies can happen,” Coyle said.

For extended coverage on the flooding in Northeast Ohio, click here.