Hamilton residents and businesses deal with flood aftermath

Several Hamilton residents and businesses located on the city’s west side were assessing damage to their properties Friday after a heavy rain Thursday dropped as much as 10 inches in about 30 minutes.

A flash flood warning was issued Thursday for Butler County shortly after a heavy cell of rain caused flooding in areas — including Hamilton — which experienced the worst of the storm, according to police and emergency dispatchers.

Sewer drains clogged with debris from the storm and the heavy downpour caused flooding along several streets, including one of the city’s main arteries — Main Street on the west side.

Josh Bowling is the owner of Sign Addiction at 648 North E. St. He and several other business owners were sorting through their water damage.

“It was pretty scary, really, to see water come through the front of your doors,” he said.

Bowling estimated as much as two feet of water outside his building. He worked until midnight Thursday to clean up his store in order to re-open Friday.

“I’d say we’re probably out right around $2,000, $3,000,” Bowling said.

Edward Reid, of Bartels Heat and Cooling at 929 Main St., said, “this isn’t the first time we’ve gotten some water into our building.”

He said employees used buckets to scoop out the water leaking into the building yesterday. Employees were also trying to clean up the water with shop vacs.

“Just trying to keep ahead of the water coming in,” Reid said.

He said the business suffered some “minor carpet damage” in the front of the building and needed to replace carpet in the back of the building.

“Other than that, we didn’t come out too bad,” Reid said.

Director of Public Works/City Engineer Rich Engle, said the heavy rainfall resulted in several calls from residents that suffered heavy damage, but the flooding was not due to any issues with the city’s sewer system.

“Public Works received about 50 calls related to water-in-basement issues and manhole covers forced off the top of the structures,” Engle said. “The street flooding was due to an extraordinarily high intensity rainfall which overwhelmed the storm sewer system.”

He said the rain was a “natural event” and there was not another reason for the flooding in the areas that were affected.

“There has not been a project upgrading the stormwater system - the sanitary system had an upgrade. The fact of the matter is, whenever you get hit with a storm producing that amount of water, there isn’t a stormwater system that is going to handle that,” he said.

Engle said city crews have been working to address issues such as debris on streets, missing manhole covers, and plugged catch basins, sanitary and storm sewer pipes.

Engle said anyone that has been affected by the storm and has questions or concerns should call his department 513-785-7550 and inform the operator. City staff will then investigate the problem and resolve as soon as possible.

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