Flooding disaster declared in Clark

Clark County commissioners declared a local disaster because of recent storm damage — a move that allows the county to seek state and federal aid.

With Wednesday’s declaration, the county joins Cuyahoga, Lorain, Medina and Summit counties that have already declared county-level emergencies after intense thunderstorms last week, said Tamara McBride, a spokeswoman for the Ohio Emergency Management Agency.

The Miami County Emergency Management Agency and the Red Cross continue to assess the damages there, where six homes were destroyed.

The cost of the damage in Clark County is still under evaluation.

The storms caused severe flooding at an apartment complex and nine homes in Clark County, damaged roads and displaced more 100 area residents, including children, in Bethel, German and Mad River townships.

It also broke a culvert at the Little Miami Scenic Trail and created a hole that is 10-feet deep along the trail, said Jim Campbell, executive director of the Clark County Park District.

The broken culvert is on the eastbound side of the trail near Hustead Road and is barricaded for safety reasons.

Officials with the Ohio Emergency Management Agency and the Small Business Administration are expected on Thursday to assess flood damage in Clark County, McBride said.

The assessment will determine whether resources will be available to jurisdictions and residents in Clark County affected by flooding, Clark County Emergency Management Director Lisa D’Allessandris said.

“There could be individual assistance or public infrastructure assistance, which would be for road repairs. But all of this is only a possibility,” she said.

Once the assessment is completed, McBride said Gov. John Kasich could request the Small Business Administration to make disaster relief loans available to the community.

She also urged residents and businesses with storm damage to contact the Renew Ohio and Rebuild Ohio programs that assist with long-term, low-interest loans. For more information on those programs, call 1-800-228-1102.

Firefighters and police in boats rescued residents from waist-deep water that flooded Laynecrest Manor Apartments on Gerlaugh Road and submerged cars. Runoff from heavy rain washed out Lambers Drive in Park Layne forcing the township to close the road.

The road is now passable.

Of the 100 residents displaced by flooding at the apartment complex, all but one person has found a place to live, said Anita Biles, a spokeswoman for the Clark County EMA. Red Cross referred that individual to a shelter.

Construction crews are working on repairs at Laynecrest Manor, Biles said, and it may take between four to six months before residents can return to the apartment complex.

The 48-unit apartment building had only two units that were unoccupied, D’Allessandris said.

Of those, 39 units sustained major damage or had 18 inches or more of water on the first-floor living area. Three units had minor damage or 3 to 18 inches of water on the first floor, and six units had less than three inches of water on the first floor, she said.

Seven homes in Bethel Twp. and two homes in Mad River Twp. were also affected by flooding, D’Allessandris said.

The Red Cross has provided between $25,000 to $30,000 in cash assistance, meals and supplies, said Mike Larson, executive director of the Clark-Champaign County Chapter of the American Red Cross.

Larson said officials have helped about 40 to 50 families and a disaster coalition will continue to provide long-term services to those impacted by flooding.

The donation center at Medway Elementary School, 116 Middle St. in Medway, will remain open from 4 to 7 p.m. today through Friday for Laynecrest residents still in need of supplies.

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