Flooding will provide first responders with lessons for the future

NEWTOWN, Ohio -- Amid its widespread devastation, the flood of 1997 provided Newtown police officers with valuable information about what to do next time their community dealt with a natural disaster. 

On Monday, many of the same officers were already working to decide what the deluge that washed over the Tri-State the previous week could teach them for the future.

"The officers went ahead on their own and said, ‘Look, we need to get assessments anyway, and the only way to get a real assessment is, let's go door-to-door,'" Chief Tom Synan said.

Those in-person assessments, which were carried out between midnight and 2 a.m. over the weekend, revealed at least 70 homes in the village had some water damage.

The suggestions Synan's department develops based on the next several weeks of recovery could go into effect by the end of the year as Hamilton County Emergency Management updates its flood mitigation plan.

"We have used this flooding event to reach out, since we're still in the draft stages of the plan," Hamilton County Emergency Management assistant director Ryan McEwan said.

A draft of the plan will be available for public input by late March.

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