Several inches of rain fell over a period of 90 minutes on Tuesday, causing significant damage and flash flooding issues in multiple counties: Franklin County, Licking County and Fairfield County. It was reported that up to 4.5 inches of rain had fallen, according to the National Weather Service.
Flooding damage occurred due to storm sewers being overwhelmed and pumps unable to push water out into ponds quickly enough. The high water levels forced the closures of highways from Interstate 270 to Interstate 70 in both directions. Seth Binau, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Wilmington, estimated that parts of Ohio had received a month and a half worth of rainfall in just 24 hours. Slow-moving storms caused by tropical moisture is not unheard of.
Many Ohio residents are facing damage to their homes and properties. Saul Flores knew she was in trouble when she saw flood waters rising in her backyard. The waters wound up filling her basement with a few feet of water and the back wall of her house collapsed to the ground. It will take a couple of days for her insurance company to come out and assess the damage, but until then, Flores is unsure of what to do next, especially with six children now homeless and dependent on her.
“I felt it. Everything we had on the shelf went down. I feel bad because we don’t know what we are going to do.”
-Saul Flores, Reynoldsburg resident
As Ohioans are just barely recovering from the aftereffects of Tropical Storm Fred, forecasters are predicting more rain on the way for Wednesday, which will certainly not improve the already drenched roads. Drivers are urged to avoid cutting through roads with high water levels and to “turn around, don’t drown.” Flood waters are often deeper than they appear to be, causing vehicles to stall out, or worse, cases of drowning. Police have reported that some people needed to be rescued from their vehicles in Reynoldsburg.
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