KENTONVALE, KY — A Northern Kentucky community came together Wednesday to help a local business reopen after flooding damaged Jackson Florist on Tuesday.
After rain poured over parts of the Greater Cincinnati region, the Kenton Vale shop filled with water that washed out products for sale
“Inside, it was about up to your waist," said Carter Herms, an employee at the shop. "So I know they said it all happened in about three or four minutes."
Herms said around 5:00 p.m. Tuesday evening, the storms began sending water into the store.
Firefighters spent Monday morning pumping water out of the building while members of the community stopped in to help clean mud off furniture.
“Not only my wife, Lisa, and I,” said Ernie Brown, a volunteer who stopped to help. “People that used to work here who decided to come down and help. People who have gone by the road stopped, pulled over, and go, ‘I’ll go change clothes, and I’ll be right back!’”
The owner, Tony Works, said flooding of this magnitude is new.
The Northern Kentucky water district, Sanitation District Number One, said a changing climate is causing heavy rainfalls more often.
Spokesperson Chris Cole said the drainage system across the region is not designed to hold the amount of rain falling at one time.
"This challenge is not unique to Northern Kentucky. There are hundreds of communities across the United States with aging combined sewer systems, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and many – including Cincinnati, Louisville, Columbus, Indianapolis, Pittsburgh and St. Louis – are under federal orders to resolve their sewer overflow challenges," reads the district's website.
Sanitation District Number One started a $1 billion program called Clean H2o40 in 2019.
The project goal on SD1's website reads, "By the year 2040, we will completely eliminate typical-year sanitary sewer overflows and recapture at least 85 percent of all typical-year combined sewer overflows."