Officials from FEMA to tour area

Two streets in Cortland were hardest hit.
WARREN -- Officials from the Federal Emergency Management Agency are expected to tour Trumbull County today to determine if homeowners who suffered flood damage may be eligible for federal funds.
The FEMA officials will continue on to Columbiana County on Friday to assess flood damage there, said Trumbull County EMA director Linda Beil.
Heavy rains last week prompted 13 Ohio counties to declare local states of emergency, which was followed by a state declaration Wednesday, she said. The federal government must also recognize the emergency before funds become available, she said.
"We don't have enough damage here for FEMA to declare just us, but maybe with all 13 counties together they might declare us a disaster," she said.
Hundreds of calls
The agency has fielded 309 phone calls from residents whose homes were damaged as the remnants of Hurricane Floyd swept through the area.
Of those, 118 were from Cortland, 40 from Champion, 37 from Masury and 41 from Warren.
The damage was primarily flooding, but five houses suffered collapsed walls because of high waters and one home was damaged by a falling tree.
Many of the damaged homes in Cortland were on two streets, said Beil: Tournament Trail and Old Oak Drive.
The streets run along Walnut Run, which overran its banks.
"It was observed to be at a 50- to 100-year flood stage," said city service director Don Wittman.
Water runoff from a 5-square mile area, including sections of Johnston, Fowler and state Route 11, are funneled through the creek, he said.
No quick-fix infrastructure improvements have been suggested, he said, but flooding in the area will be considered when projects are planned.
"There is not enough money to go around to put in enough pipe to handle what we had," Wittman said.

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