Ohio Supreme Court gets flood-compensation case answers

COLUMBUS (AP) — The state has struggled to find qualified appraisers to assess damage for dozens of landowners who suffered losses from flooding near Ohio’s largest inland lake, an attorney for Ohio’s natural resources division told the state Supreme Court today.

Pressed for a completion date for the process, Michael Stokes, an assistant Ohio attorney general, said the end of next year was reasonable.

“It has been extraordinarily difficult to find appraisers who are both qualified and willing to do the work,” Stokes told justices during an hour-plus hearing here.

At issue is the speed with which the Department of Natural Resources is responding to a year-old court order to compensate 87 landowners near Grand Lake St. Marys, a 20-square-mile lake between Dayton and Toledo. The flooding culprit is a horseshoe-shaped dam the state built in 1997 that the landowners say has led to significant floods almost every year since.

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