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For Norwood residents, Wednesday's flooding was déjà vu

Posted at 5:36 PM, Jul 01, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-01 20:00:36-04

NORWOOD, Ohio — Norwood residents evaluated damage Thursday from flooded yards, homes and cars after torrential rain the night before.

Water rose 2 feet or more at Elm and Franklin avenues.

“It was really scary, because you don't know when it starts coming up, you don't know where it’s going to stop,” said resident Jennifer Pence.

She said her family has owned a home there for more than 40 years and the area is notorious for flooding.

“Over the years, I don't know how many water heaters and washers and dryers and furnaces have been ruined," she told WCPO.

Next door, Stephanie Harden owns a cleaning company. Water rose into one of her company cars on the street. She said this will likely be the fifth car she’s lost due to flooding.

“They need to do something and do it now,” said Harden.

City leaders said the problem is with the drainage system.

“Ten minutes of rain should not put an area that is not around a body of water — it shouldn’t put it underwater,” said City Council member Chris Kelsch.

In 2016, the area flooded severely.

Kelsch said the city requested an engineering study more than a year ago.

WCPO called the mayor, city and safety services director to get the results or find out where the study stands.

The city services director said the problem is linked to a drainage system problem and said leaders have been trying to work with MSD on the issue for nearly 30 years, since 1994.

There is an option to build a retention area that will hold the flood water and slow it until it goes down slowly.

The last price tag on that was $1.8 million, the director said, but that estimate was made years ago.

The issue is set for the next City Council meeting next Thursday.

In the meantime, Kelsch said, he plans to ask for an update and request a financial plan at the City Council meeting scheduled for Thursday, July 8.

“Honestly, I’m ready to tell the city just to buy my house and tear it down, because I can’t take the stress of it,” Pence said. “I’ve had to wade through waist-deep water to get to my house, to get to my dad and make sure that he’s okay, and he’s 85 years old.”