Heavy rains trap drivers, wreak havoc on roads across Valley

A Warren woman got stuck in the flood waters Thursday morning and had to be rescued

One Warren woman had a particularly harrowing experience Thursday morning when her car got stuck in flood waters.


WARREN, Ohio (WKBN) – Torrential downpours throughout the day caused hazardous situations and road closures across the Valley.

The falls at Lanterman’s Mill in Mill Creek Park roared after a day of heavy rain and flooding. A torrent of water flowed over the dam, with a force only seen after a day like Thursday.

Outside of the park on area roads, it was a lot more dangerous.

The Ohio Department of Transportation said State Route 165 is closed Thursday afternoon between US 62 and SR 46 due to flooding.

Route 4019 (Methodist Road) from Kennard Road to Salem Road in Sugar Grove Township is closed due to flooding, along with SR 46 between Salt Springs Road and McKees Lane.

The ramp from Interstate 80 eastbound to U.S. Route 62 in Hubbard reopened just before 11 p.m.

State Route 711 southbound to I-680 northbound closed around 4 p.m., but has since reopened.

One Warren woman had a particularly harrowing experience Thursday morning when her car got stuck in flood waters.

That water trapped Marisa Woolensack’s car. She said even though WKBN 27 Storm Team Meteorologist Rich Morgan warned of the intense rain we’d be seeing, she thought she’d be able to get around just fine.

Woolensack was on her way to school when she saw water rising on Pine Avenue SE in Warren. She thought she would be able to drive over it, but within seconds, she realized that she was wrong.

Her car began to sink into the water, and the engine stalled.

“I was in a panic because I noticed water was coming in, and I’m like, ‘What do I do? So I called 911, and I called my mother, and I was in a panic,” she said.

The Warren Fire Department was able to get to Woolensack quickly and helped her out of her car.

“I did not see how deep it was and I should have just turned around,” she said. “I was more focused on getting to school.”

Her car is still stuck in those flood waters — it can’t be towed until the water levels recede.

The whole ordeal left Woolensack pretty shaken up.

“My advice to everyone — turn around, don’t drown and heed the warnings,” she said. “That’s all I would say to everyone who does want to go through that water.”

High flood waters weren’t the only danger that drivers had to deal with.

Many of the roads throughout the Valley are in rough shape as well.

The shift from cold weather to unseasonably warm temperatures can damage the roadways, causing massive potholes.

Specialists at Flynn’s Tire and Auto Shop in Boardman said they typically see a lot of business in the winter months due to pothole-related damage.

Service Manager Kyle Tinal said if you go over a pothole too fast, or hit one that’s too deep, you can knock out your tire alignment and damage your tire and rims.

“What you see is a lot of people end up getting impact break bubbles in the side wall of their tires. You also see some damaged rims in the process, so we’re constantly getting people rims and new tires on the vehicle,” Tinal said.

Flynn’s says that if you’re driving and you see a pothole, try to avoid it as safely if possible. But if you are forced to drive over it, do so very slowly.

Flynn’s also recommends that at the end of the winter season, you should stop by your local auto shop and make sure your car’s tires are still in alignment and your engine hasn’t rusted from high water or cold temperatures.

WKBN is your source for the Valley’s latest weather information. Download our app for Apple and Android devices and sign up for weather text alerts.

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