UPDATE @ 1:30 p.m.:
A number of Hamilton streets were flooded by Wednesday evening’s storms, said city Public Works Director Rich Engle, whose staff was still busy dealing with situations this afternoon.
“We had quite a few streets that were flooded, scattered throughout the whole city,” Engle said. “We’re still trying to pull all the information together. We’re still getting calls yet today from residents who suffered some water-in-basement, whether it was a sanitary (sewage) backup or the rain water entering their structure.”
Unlike flooding that happened last year on the West Side, this year’s basement flooding was scattered throughout the city, with about two dozen reports of basement flooding, he said.
“It’s less than we’ve had prevously, so it’s a good sign that some of our efforts so far have probably made a difference,” he said.
A number of streets were flooded that previously have not experienced ponding, including along Route 4 and in Lindenwald, he said.
“We’re investigating the reasons for some of the streets ponding that we had not seen previously, and are going to be investigating the storm-sewer system and catch-basins, to make sure that everything’s operating properly.”
Engle said the rain water moved higher than the curbs on Main Street, where flooding has been a problem in recent years — an issue the city is working to resolve.
The street flooding “was more citywide last night, just the way the storm tracked,” he said. “It seemed to hit the entire city, not just, for instance, on the city’w West Side.
A power outage affected the pumping station that keeps dry the High Street roadway underpass below the railroad tracks just east of Martin Luther King Boulevard. Police closed both eastbound lanes and reduced westbound traffic to one lane becasue of the high water there.
UPDATE @ 12:58 p.m.:
Butler County Sheriff’s Office Lt. Randy Lambert was one of nine deputies who responded as Wednesday’s storm created flash flooding throughout the county.
Flooding started about 6 p.m. when the storm with heavy rain come through Ross Twp., causing flooding along Ohio 129.
The stormed then moved into Hamilton and on to the New Miami and Seven Mile area with roads becoming impassable for a period of time, he said.
“It rose up quickly and it receded quickly,” Lambert said.
Deputies were at the ready for water rescues, but did not have to put boats in the water.
“We had guys go into the water and knock on doors, but we didn’t have to put boats in,” Lambert said, noting it wasn’t a flooding of the Great Miami River, which can bring more serious scenarios.
UPDATE @ 12 p.m.:
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.
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.
Butler County residents and officials are assessing water damage in the wake Wednesday night’s storms.
Dale Heinzlman walked along his property on Morgenthaler Road at U.S. 127 near New Miami looking at the massive cornfield littered with debris.
“It was underwater last night, you can see the debris where stuff washed up,” Heinzlman said. He said thankfully, the water did not get into the house, but it did reach outbuildings.
A large hole from the washed out ground is left at the end of the cornfield along with some swampy areas of standing water.
“We will have to pick up the stuff, but the field should dry off,” he said.
Across U.S. 127, crews worked to repair the railroad crossing at Fear Not Mills Road that was washed away by high water.
Heinzlman said the area across the tracks, along the creek, floods often, but he has only seen water this high on U.S. 127 a couple times.
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