‘It’s a mess’: Butler County residents pumping water out of homes

1:10 p.m Thursday, May 25, 2017 Butler County
The Seven Mile Fire Department in Butler County was busy Thursday morning pumping water out of homes on Taylor School Road. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

Several residents on Taylor School Road in Seven Mile were cleaning up debris from Wednesday’s storm as firefighters from Seven Mile and St. Clair Twp. pumped thousands of gallons of water out of flooded basements.

BUTLER COUNTY STORM DAMAGE: Flooded fields, homes

Ben Johnson, who lives on Taylor School Road, said he felt “shear panic” as the storms blew through, flooding his basement, destroying appliances and knocking out a door in the basement. He lost a washer, dryer, refrigerator, video games and couch.

“Everything in the basement is gone,” he said after putting on waders.

PHOTOS: Aftermath of destructive storms, tornadoes

He said watching some of his boys’ toys float out of the garage was the most difficult.

“That made it hit pretty hard,” he said.

Johnson tried to get his garage door down to stop the water from entering his garage. He said the rushing water blew the garage door in and collapsed an interior wall.

“We got out and watched it come in,” said Johnson, who spent Wednesday night with relatives.

MORE: Intense storms produce tornadoes in the region

He has lived on the street for eight years and said the storm and flood damage were the worst he has ever seen.

“It’s a mess,” he said of the inside of his home. “An in-ground swimming pool.”

He’s thankful his wife and two sons, Wyatt, 6, and Hank, 2, were not injured.

Johnson doesn’t have flood insurance. When asked what was next, he said: “Hope. You got to fix it one way or another.”

The American Red Cross Cincinnati Region also provided emergency personnel and residents food and water.

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