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Heavy rain floods streets, homes, businesses in West Chester when creek overflows

Residents say construction made it worse
Posted at 7:04 PM, Aug 11, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-12 04:47:17-04

WEST CHESTER TOWNSHIP, Ohio –  Heavy rain caused a creek to overflow and flood streets, homes and businesses in Olde West Chester late Saturday afternoon.

Two residents said heavy flooding in that area is not common and blamed a nearby construction project for making things worse.

Floodwater fills the streets around Alan Kramer's house in Olde West Chester Saturday.

"Basement is flooded. Yard is totally destroyed. All of our vegetable gardens are gone and washed out," Alan Kramer said about his home of 18 years.

It was hard to find a building on Cincinnati Dayton Road that the water didn’t reach, and that included Kramer’s. Kramer said he wouldn't be able to tell how much damage he had until he pumped out his basement.

“It only happened once before quite this bad. We have stuff in the basement. We have sump pumps, and they’re working,” he said.

Parts of the road and driveways were washed out.

The floodwater damaged at least three businesses.

It happened in an area under construction for bridge work.

Floodwater washes over the construction site.

"Because they have the creek partially closed off with the construction, if they had the creek wide open, this wouldn't have happened," said Kramer.

Neighbors said the water came up several feet in less than an hour.

“We’ve never seen it this high this fast. It usually takes a couple hours of rain. It came up faster this time because they have so much of the creek restricted," Kramer said.

A 30-year resident, Victoria Alverez, said they had warned officials about the risk of creek flooding while construction is underway.

"We’ve told them. The county knows," Alvarez said. "It’s all dammed up. They made the creek small to work on the bridge.

"It’s a major tributary. It’s the Mill Creek. People don’t understand. It’s a mild-mannered little creek, until there’s a lot of rain."

West Chester spokesperson Barb Wilson said it was too early to pinpoint an exact cause.

"I'm sure next week there will be discussions with the Butler County Engineer's Office and the contractor, and try to identify anything that would've been done differently," Wilson said.

 For the moment, the focus was on cleaning up.

"We'll be working with some of the businesses probably affected by the flooding," Wilson said.