Maybe it wasn’t exactly a 100-year storm, but Wednesday morning’s swift, heavy downpour was enough to last awhile in the memories for many in Green.
Portions of at least four roads in the city were closed due to water covering the surface or further deteriorating the asphalt.
Some basements were flooded. Even Boettler Park, the city’s popular recreation destination, was closed much of the morning after creek waters raised too high.
Estimates of rainfall range from 2 to 4 inches in a six-hour span. Scattered rain and thunderstorms were forecast for Wednesday night through Friday morning. Multiple power outages and downed trees were reported after a series of thunderstorms crossed through the region late Wednesday afternoon.
The early morning storm was enough for Green Mayor Dick Norton to cancel a vacation day and head out to various neighborhoods to assess the damage. The first calls for help came in shortly after 4 a.m.
“The dilemma is we seem to get that deluge,” Norton said, standing on Graybill Road. The road will be closed for several days due to deteriorating conditions caused by the rising Bender Creek.
“I think the intensity was over about a 25-minute period. We had about 3 inches over an hour and a half. That basically overwhelmed the system.
“So, it’s that old famous, I don’t know whether it’s a 50-year storm or whether that’s a 100-year storm, but it’s a significant event.”
Green officials reported several other road closings. A portion of state Route 619 between Mayfair and Myersville roads was reopened by 3 p.m.
The National Weather Service reported that some of the worst flooding was in the Louisville area, where an estimated 6 inches of rain has fallen over the past two days.
Overwhelmed drainage systems caused the East Branch of Nimishillen Creek to overflow its banks. Some rescues of stranded homeowners by boat were reported.
At Boettler Park, Judy Knapp and Sheri Mozea walked along the creek banks, checking out the fast-moving water that crossed through the park. They said a nearby pond and the creek swelled with water to became one, all due to the heavy rain.
They estimate the normally sedate creek was about 3-feet above normal levels.
“This is almost like raging. This is nothing like what it is on normal circumstances,” Knapp said.
On Mayfair Road, several inches of water covered a railroad crossing for most of the morning and early afternoon. Two daring drivers crossed the railroad tracks, ignoring the standing water and “Road Closed” sign that still stood about noon.
Joe Jones, a nearby worker, said the water had greatly receded from what he saw earlier in the morning. The road was closed about 10:30 a.m.
“It was probably 6 inches to a foot higher,” he said. “It’s been running steady for a good six hours.”
Stark County’s emergency management director advised people to avoid driving through flooded streets, even if other vehicles pass safely.
Sinkholes can occur suddenly, Tim Warstler said during a teleconference at the county commissioners’ regular meeting Wednesday.
He said federal and state disaster relief is unlikely to be obtained for damage due to this week’s flooding because the affected area was relatively compact.
Heavily affected areas were in North Canton, Louisville, Canton, and Plain, Lake and Nimishillen townships.
The conditions led Canton parks to close 10 locations until further notice: Arboretum, Cook, Martindale, Monument, Mother Gooseland, Reifsnyder, Schreiber, Stadium, Waterworks and West.
The East Branch of the Nimishillen Creek and the Zimber Ditch were the main waterways that overflowed, Warstler said.
He urged those whose property sustained flooding to contact their insurance companies and email reports of damage to starkEMA@starkcountyohio.gov. Damage reports will be compiled to determine whether the total meets the threshold for state or federal aid.