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Northsiders worry rain will bring repeat of 2019 flooding

Posted at 4:47 PM, May 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-19 20:19:21-04

CINCINNATI — People in Northside eyed their gutters warily Tuesday night.

“Every time it rains, we’re concerned,” said Sue Wilke, who lives on Martha Street. “And you should not have to live like that.”

Wilke’s home sits near the Martha basin, a Metropolitan Sewer District project meant to hold stormwater. When another basin overflowed into it in June 2019, however, the Martha couldn’t handle the excess. Feet of thick, muddy water flooded into more than two dozen nearby homes, taking out appliances and circuit breakers in the process.

MSD paid out 13 claims filed by Northside homeowners. More remain pending.

The basin flooded again Monday night — not severely enough to damage more than one home, but enough to make Northsiders such as Wilke anxious.

“We used to love the rain,” she said. “Now, we don’t like the rain so much anymore. It’s like we have PTSD about it.”

MSD was placing temporary pumps in the basin Tuesday morning, hoping to drain some of the stormwater before more could arrive.

Wilke said she hopes they work. The National Weather Service's forecast predicted a wet week ahead.