Storm results in area flooding; Aurora officials assessing situation

Published:

FROM STAFF REPORTS

The cleanup in Portage County was reasonably light compared to the heavy flooding experienced in Stow and other points west after the May 12 storm.

Heavy winds and rains swept into Portage County about 9:30 p.m. after flooding low areas in Stow, Cuyahoga Falls and Hudson.

Ryan Shackelford, director of the Portage County Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, said the office was on alert if needed. He said there were several areas of rotation in the storm that could have meant trouble.

"On the radar, it looked like it was going to be a lot worse than what it was coming into Portage County," he said. "They just seemed to die" when they came into the county. Several communities sounded storm warning sirens, he said.

The storm caused flooding on Bissell, Cochran and Townline roads in Aurora, according to Service Director John Trew, who added the roads were closed for a while, but were open by 2 a.m. May 13.

"We had several areas of town that experienced basement flooding," Trew said. "We are mapping all the data available and examining each area one watershed at a time, evaluating any and all alternatives to mitigate the issues."

Police Chief Seth Riewaldt commented, "There was a ton of water, but we didn't get really high winds."

Parts of Kent went dark at the height of the storm. Kent Fire Chief John Tosko said traffic lights along West Main Street and at Haymaker Parkway and South Water Street went out, as did some of downtown Kent's businesses.

"IT WAS KIND of messy. Luckily, there weren't many cars out on the road," he said.

Ravenna City Fire Chief Geoff Cleveland said the storm managed to veer out of Ravenna's path, and no flooding or damage was reported in the city.

There were still about 20 customers out of power in eastern Rootstown and northwest Edinburg by at noon May 13. FirstEnergy said it expected to have power restored to all by that afternoon.

Brimfield Police Chief David Oliver said the Cascades commercial development on Tallmadge Road lost power for a time.

He said his officers reported driving by a lake while on patrol, and "some guys saw fish on the road" where floodwaters had crossed the road, then receded, Oliver said.

According to the Community Collaborative Rain, Hail & Snow Network, a citizens group that tracks local precipitation, about 3.4 inches of rain fell on parts of Stow. Sections of Portage County including Twin Lakes and Streetsboro experienced slightly more than an inch of rain.

Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor, who also is state insurance director, announced that Ohioans whose property suffered damage from the storm can call the Ohio Department of Insurance consumer hotline at 800-686-1526 for free resources and assistance to file claims with insurance providers.

Other tips and resources are available at www.insurance.ohio.gov.

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