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TRUMBULL CO. Heavy storms cause flooding



Published: Fri, May 3, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



Some parts of the city saw more than 2 inches of rain.

By DENISE DICK

VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF

WARREN -- Joe Bryant awoke Thursday morning to find 3 feet of water in his basement.

"I woke up at 3:30 and looked out the window and everything was fine," the Douglas Street Northwest resident said.

He went back to bed and was awakened about a half hour later by a noise coming from the basement. He discovered the water.

"We had to turn off the gas, and some books that were down there were destroyed," Bryant said. "My wife's grandkids' toys were down there and they were destroyed, too. There's some paneling that I'll probably have to tear out."

He pumped the water out by early afternoon using a vacuum he rented, but he expects the cleanup to take a while.

Areas affected

Heavy rain that pummeled much of the Mahoning Valley early Thursday resulted in flooded basements, yards and roads throughout Warren, Howland, Champion, Bazetta, Hartford and other parts of the Trumbull County.

"We responded to calls from all over the city," said Tom Angelo, director of Warren's Water Pollution Control Center.

Less than an inch of rain was recorded at the Main Street facility, but Angelo said some parts of the city saw as much as 2.25 inches between Wednesday night and Thursday morning.

"We got a lot of rain in an extremely short period of time," he said.

The plant normally sees 12 million gallons of water per day. The storms produced more than 50 million gallons, Angelo said.

Councilman Alford Novak, D-2nd, said he got calls from residents who reported 2 feet of water in their basements.

"I heard of nine streets that were impassable," he said.

Drain backup

One of those residents is Evelyn Neal of Comstock Street, who had about 4 inches of rain in her yard and about 2 inches in the basement.

"I've been working on this all day," Neal said. "It's the backup from the drain."

The water destroyed the basement carpeting, she said.

"Our drain system up here is not right," Neal said, adding that the drains along her street aren't tied into the city sewer lines.

"I'm up a hill and I still get the water," she said. "What about the people down from me?"

Many homes in the city are equipped with drainage ditches. Angelo said some of them were filled with leaves and debris. A few areas had catch basins completely covered.

"The water is going to find some place to go," he said.

Keeping drains and ditches as clean as possible is one way to deal with the problem.

"Obviously, if you keep the drain clean as possible, it drains the water out faster," Angelo said.

"Most of the rain events we've had this year we've had very little complaints. This was a very forceful rain event," he said.

dick@vindy.com




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