LOWELLVILLE, Ohio (WKBN) — The fire department helped block off McGill Street as water continued to run down the road following Tuesday’s strong thunderstorm.
“It looked like a river, a stream. It wasn’t a road,” Faith Borer of Lowellville said.
The torrential downpour caused heavy damage to McGill Street between Walnut and Wood Streets.
“The water was actually flowing, popping right up through the manhole and lifted the whole manhole. That’s probably what heaved the road in the middle,” Mayor James Iudiciani, Sr. said.
The mayor said the storm drain system couldn’t handle all the water at one time, and caused the road to buckle in several spots. Homeowners have a mess to clean up as well.
“There was water pouring down into the driveway. It looked like a stream going through to the backyard,” Borer said.
That part of McGill Street is expected to be shut down until the village can repair it.
“At this point, we have to wait until the water subsides. We’re here now cleaning up. You see it goes all the way down to Liberty Street as well. Then, we’ll have to assess the damage, but to me it could be a total loss of roadway,” Iudiciani said.
The damage is estimated at around $100,000 to $200,000 to fix the road.
The heavy downpour also caused flash flooding in Struthers around noon when Poland Avenue started to flood quickly. Water filled up both sides of the street and eventually came over the middle.
It caused drivers to slow down as they made their way through the water. Employees with Macejko Service and Towing watched as the water rose outside their business.
“Most of the people were staying towards the center of the road, but some people blasted through it,” Paul Macejko said. “It will destroy your engine. If it gets the water inside your engine, it will hydraulic it and cause thousands of dollars worth of damage with just a couple ounces of water.”
The water rushed at nearby Yellow Creek in Struthers. People stopped by to see how high it got, and some even took pictures.
All the rain on Tuesday led to flooded roads and backyards. Storm sewers and retention ponds overflowed into the streets.
In Boardman, drivers dealt with high water along main roads and in neighborhoods. Austintown also had lots of water to deal with.
Cleanup will begin once the water goes down.
“The retention pond to my right fills up first. There is drains underneath the street that kind of level out to have the other retention pond fill at the same time in the hopes that the rain will slow down before the retention ponds overflow as they are doing now,” Boardman Mayfield Drive resident Al DeChurch said.
Down the street, Dan Campana found his sump pumps struggling to keep his finished basement dry. It flooded his garage instead.
“Every time the sump pump cycles it comes up out of here. As long as it stays like this, I am not going to panic,” Campana said.
He said flooding is a common problem on Mayfield Drive.
“I knew the retention ponds would be overflowing, because for whatever reason, a good storm and 10 minutes, and they are running down the street. Every time,” Campana said.
Some water can be cleaned up, but other times people just have to wait for it to go away on its own. In Austintown, Kay Mumaw went out on her deck to find a small river running through her yard.
“We have always had water here. But they fixed it a couple years ago and this is what we still have,” Mumaw said. “I was shocked this morning because I did not think we would get it like this again.”
The flooding still happens, despite an expensive drain system the homeowners paid to install.