Heavy rain causes major damage to home, collapsing back of foundation

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Rising waters kept many people on edge throughout the day as heavy rain pounded Northeast Ohio. The rain is ending, but for one family, their water woes are just beginning.

Residents who live in low-lying areas near creeks and rivers across Northeast Ohio kept a close eye on the water Thursday. At one point, the Grand River flowed across Vrooman Road in Lake County. People who live in the area say some people still try their luck.

"They try to get through all the time; I mean they come 2:00, 3:00 in the morning, knocking on our door because their car's down there and they're soaking wet; when the 'road closed' sign is up, it means road closed," said resident, Mike Pantos.

Creeks in Ashtabula County were close to overflowing their banks too. Homes on South Nearing Circle in Geneva are not near the creek, but some yards are prone to be covered with water during torrential rains. Thursday afternoon, an estimated one and a half inches proved too much for one home; the foundation in the back of it collapsed into the basement.

"We had quite a heavy downpour going on at the time and it had been raining for about four to six hours prior to that, and the entire yard here was full of water and we're suspecting that it collapsed; it sunk in and then collapsed the back of the foundation," said Geneva Fire Chief Dale Arkenburg.

The homeowner was upstairs, but she was not injured. Restoration crews will have their work cut out for them because the basement is heavily damaged and utilities, including gas, water and electricity must be repaired.

"A number of these homes have recently had projects to deal with similar problems due to this back yard. She, herself, had had some recent work done apparently, you know; it was just too much today," Arkenburg said.

At one point, five roads in the Geneva area had to be closed to traffic, due to high water.

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