Cleaning up after days of rain; Worst flooding was in Bellevue, Franklin Flats

ERIE COUNTY The worst is over and it wasn't all that bad compared to other parts of Ohio.
Sandusky Register Staff
May 24, 2010



The worst is over and it wasn't all that bad compared to other parts of Ohio.

That's the word from area county emergency management leaders after floods shut down roads and waterlogged basements Monday and early Tuesday.

Area counties were in mostly good shape following Monday's rainfall. The closest airport to record rainfall was in Mansfield, where 6.68 inches fell during a three-day period, according to John Feerick, meteorologist for Accuweather forecasting service.

"Looking at the radar estimates, the heaviest of the rain mainly fell just off to the south of the Sandusky area," he said.

Locally, emergency officials pinpointed the worst damage seen to Bellevue, Franklin Flats and parts of rural Sandusky and Ottawa counties.

In Bellevue, where U.S. 20 was closed for hours because of a flooded underpass, about 400-500 basements flooded.

"Our biggest damage is private damage in the homes," said William Ommert, director of the Huron County Emergency Management Agency. "We (don't have) any major damage at this point and no one lost their life."

In Erie County, Franklin Flats saw the heaviest damage as the Huron River swelled four feet over flood stage early Tuesday morning. By early afternoon, the river was once again contained within its banks.

Residents of the Searsville and Lakeland neighborhoods in Perkins Township, which flooded last July after Pipe Creek carried heavy storm runoff north, were also spared this time, when the creek didn't rise as much as had been feared.

Erie County Emergency Management Agency Director Bill Walker said the area was in clean-up mode, but obviously if more rain falls, then trouble could once again swirl in murky water.

In Ottawa County, a few township roads were closed Tuesday, but damage was "minimal," said Mike Drusbacky, deputy director of the Ottawa County Emergency Management Agency. The same applied in Sandusky County.

"We weathered the storm pretty well," said Brad Lawrence, director of the Sandusky County Emergency Management Agency. "There were some flooded basements ... nothing else significant reported. Business is pretty much back to normal."

In Seneca County, Seneca East Schools closed Tuesday because of road flooding, putting a halt on the first day of classes, according to Superintendent Michael Wank.

"We were getting very negative reports of a lot of flooding," he said. "We figure it's better safe than sorry."

For up-to-the-minute local weather conditions, visit

Forecast after the flood

Today: Possible morning fog. A dryer, much warmer day. Possible thunderstorms. High of 86 degrees.

Thursday: Spotty thunderstorm activity. High of 88 degrees

Friday: High of 95 degrees

Saturday: Cold front coming in will cool off the area

Source: John Feerick, meteorologist for Accuweather forecasting service