ELYRIA, Ohio (WJW) — Water gushed over the east falls of the Black River in Elyria on Sunday, pushing the current and raising water levels further downstream.
“Typically if we get this much rain, the area does flood but I mean to this extent not really, you don’t see this every day,” said resident Douglas Linn.
The overflow of water kept first responders busy all weekend. First in the northern area of Cascade Park. “It is an area that is only accessed via pedestrian or bicycle.”
Lorain County Metro Parks Director Jim Ziemnik says a man rode his bike into the closed park just before noon.
“And he rode down apparently the dog was with him and he got swept up into the river. Somebody did witness this guy clinging to a log.”
The dog was also caught in the current and the rangers split up to try and find them both.
“Lo and behold one of our rangers said I see him and actually at that point the guy was able to get to a point that he could get his footing and he climbed up out of the river himself and went to our ranger.”
Emergency medical workers then took over.
“They cared for the guy and reports were that they took him home. He was ok, a little shaken obviously.”
There is still no sight of the dog.
“Most law enforcement here, our own law enforcement and the communities of Lorain County obviously with all the flooding and other damages and you know emergencies, dealing with that, I’m sure aren’t, unfortunately, able to dedicate much time to locate the dog.”
Less than 10 minutes away on Greenville Road, Lorain County Sheriff’s deputies went out to a wellness check for a mother and her baby boy who were thought to be in a home surrounded by water.
“Whenever there’s a flood warning for this branch of the Black River this is probably one of the first places to flood,” said Kurt Blair, Assistant Chief Carlyle Township Fire Department.
The only way to search for them was by boat. When they got to the home it was empty and the two are believed to be safe.
People who live in the area say they haven’t seen the Black River this high since 1969. “It was probably six to 8 feet at least higher. It was totally flooded all the way up to the hillside,” said Linn.
Ziemnik says the parks system posts the necessary signs during unsafe conditions and encourages people to respect them for everyone’s safety.
“They’re curious. They want to go and see it and that’s fine, but please stay a safe distance up the elevations.”
Ziemnik says they have no knowledge or record of having to do a rescue there before as the vast majority of park visitors respect the warning signs.