Clinton residents still combating flooding from last week’s storms

CLINTON, Ohio -- More than a week after torrential rains flooded communities across Northeast Ohio, residents of Luna Lake in the Village of Clinton are still combating flooding.

The rains caused flooding in the area that no one had seen in many decades.

As of Tuesday, Scott Rader and his wife, Kary, still had more than six feet of water in their basement with nowhere to pump it out because their home was still surrounded by flooding.

"We know it was a huge amount of rain, but we have had huge amounts of rain in the past and we have not flooded like that," said Rader.

On Wednesday, eight days after water streamed into their home from all directions, restoration crews were finally able to get to the Rader's home.

Trucks were navigating through water that still covered their street, getting dumpsters to homes where residents were discarding flooring while also discovering mold from the standing water.

"I call it the perfect storm. It came from the north and it can’t leave from the south," said Clinton Mayor Allen Knack.  "These folks here, they need help. And, they don't need help six months from now, they need help yesterday and with our government bureaucracy sometimes we are not able to give help yesterday."

There are many theories on why this community was so badly flooded and why the water has taken so long to leave.  Knack said he has been communicating with other area mayors who experienced flooding and with the Summit County Emergency Management Agency director, but there appears to be no easy or inexpensive way to diagnose the problem, as well as no real assurance of a solution.

"It breaks down to about five to ten years by the time you start initially to get the funding...and then we have to determine if the cost is worth the project," said Knack.

Matt Steiner, 49, a former Clinton councilman and president of the Luna Lake Club Company said he grew up in the community and it's not in a flood plain.  He says he has never seen flooding like this at Luna Lake.

"Over the years in my garage I've had two to three inches at the most and that is the bad flooding. This time we had 37 inches in the garage so it’s more water than I have ever seen," said Steiner.

Steiner has been in communication with city and county officials and understands that the remedy for the flooding is something that cannot happen overnight.

However, he says that is no consolation to the homeowners who are left with the consequences of last week's storms and who now feel as though they are forgotten with no help on the horizon.

"That moves slow and we need answers today because the cleanup is today," said Steiner.

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