Chippewa Lake residents deal with flooding levels not seen in decades

CHIPPEWA LAKE, Ohio-- Roads closed, beaches flooded and houses surrounded by water. Many homes along Medina County’s Chippewa Lake are literally sitting in it.

Recent heavy rain has caused the lake to overflow to levels many residents have not seen in decades.

"It hasn't been like this in probably 20 years," said Al Junke, who has lived in Chippewa Lake for three years.

"It's probably the second worst since we've been here and that's been 40 years," said resident Tom Love.

Heavy rain pushed water from Medina County's Chippewa Lake into neighborhoods along the shore, forcing roads to close, swallowing up parks and beaches, and flooding several homes.

For some people, a kayak or canoe was the only way to get around.

"They shut my gas off, Red Cross told me to shut my electricity off for safety issues. They said they are gonna see what they can do for us," Michele Brennan said.

Brennan's home along Beachside Boulevard is surrounded by water. She wants to stay to take care of her pets, but she said the water is just inches away from coming inside her home.

"This is my home. We live here year round, you know, you don't want to leave your home, you know. But it's not safe they said, it's just not safe," she said.

"Sunday at around noon, they put that sign 'Road closed,' that white sigh up over there. And the water had barely gotten over the road, and it usually takes about six to eight hours after the rain stops for the water to crest to the high point," said resident Kurt Spencer.

Spencer, whose family has lived in Chippewa Lake since the 1950s, said he's rarely seen the water this high. He spent time Monday helping friends retrieve boats docked in the rising waters.

"Greg's out there cutting his ropes off the boat because they're too tight to get them untied and if the water comes up any more, we don't know if it's gonna pull the boat under, or pull the docks up or what it's gonna do," he said.

As people boat on bike trails and across flooded roadways, residents hope the rain stops falling.

"I've never seen it like this… This is the worst we've seen," Junke said.

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