Monday, September 17, 2018 Elyria 70°
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Heavy rains leave roads underwater (UPDATED)

  • Flooding-2-jpg

    This drone photo shows Foster Road closed in Wellington due to Black River flooding on Monday.

    BRUCE BISHOP / CHRONICLE

  • Flooding-jpg

    This drone photo shows flooding at Indian Hollow and Foster roads Monday.

    BRUCE BISHOP / CHRONICLE

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UPDATE: As of 9:25 a.m. Tuesday, Foster Road is reopened.

ELYRIA — The rain came down too fast over the weekend for the soggy ground to absorb it and left some areas of Lorain County under water.

The county experienced a little more than 2.15 inches of rainfall coming into Monday, causing minor flooding of 1.6 feet over the 10-foot flood stage. The flooding could reach 1.7 feet, according to the National Weather Service in Cleveland.

Although 2 inches of rainfall might not sound like much, it is significant for the time span, National Weather Service Meteorological Technician Martin Thompson.

“Two inches in a very short period of time, saturated in a single area, is pretty significant,” he said

A flood warning was issued for the county Sunday evening and it will remain in effect through today. The Lake Erie shore is also under a small craft advisory until 4 a.m. Wednesday. The National Weather Service predicts southwest winds becoming west at 15 to 25 knots, and 5- to 8-foot waves.

Thompson said the periods of heavy rainfall are caused by a low pressure system moving along a stationary front of air masses every couple days. The cycle usually alternates with dry periods, but limited dry periods have caused oversaturation, which leads to flooding, he said.

The flooding apparently comes from the east branch of Black River, affecting roads in areas near Elyria, Lorain, Sheffield, Wellington and Oberlin.

Some roads found with visible flooding include East 30th Street off Broadway in Lorain and West 40th Street off Oberlin Avenue in Lorain. Other roads include Foster Road and Indian Hollow Road.

Lorain Mayor Chase Ritenauer said the city was definitely affected by the weather over the weekend.

“We received a handful of calls throughout the city, so what you can take from that, I don’t know,” he said. “But it did affect the people throughout the city.”

Flooding was reported near Martin Run on Ashland Avenue and Tower Boulevard as well as other side streets.

Ritenauer said the city did receive some reports of basement flooding. The Black River Tunnel project was nearly filled Sunday night, Ritenauer added, and held back most of the water.

To call last weekend’s deluge a minor rain event would be an understatement, said Terry Korzon, Elyria’s superintendent of the city’s Wastewater Pollution Control Center.

“We got almost 2 inches of rain in less than two days. It was definitely a pretty decent rain event,” he said.

Korzon said the city’s plant did its job of taking in the water, working to move its normal water flow from roughly 6 million gallons of water a day to more than 94 million gallons at the peak of the storm.

But that doesn’t mean the city’s roads and neighborhoods stayed dry. The city received eight calls from residents complaining about water in their homes. Seven of the eight problems were not related to the city’s sewer system, city officials said.

Another eight calls about high water in the streets were cleared up in a simple way.

Most were from areas already under construction such as where Columbia Gas is installing new gas lines or where contractors are working to install new sewer lines. With such projects, it is standard to place a cover over the catch basin to prevent construction debris and runoff from getting into the sewer system. But with the kind of water that came down over the weekend, crews had to go around and lift the covers to allow the water to flow into the drains.

Also in Lorain, the weather is being blamed for damage to the wooden plank walkway to the pier of the boat docks. The 30-year-old walkway shifted after an anchor for it went missing. About 3 feet of the walkway was removed for repair, said Lori Garcia, manager of Lorain’s Public Property Department.

Contact Bruce Walton at (440) 329-7123 or bwalton@chroniclet.com. Follow him on Twitter @BruceWalton.

 



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