By JO ANN BOBBY-GILBERT
EAST LIVERPOOL An unrelenting rain overnight Tuesday and Wednesday morning caused extensive flooding of storm sewers throughout the southern portion of the county.
This man, who would only identify himself as Jim from Chester, W.Va., said he was trying to beat the traffic coming to the gas station in the East End of East Liverpool when he took what appears to have been a serious wrong turn. He ended up with his Camaro nearly under water and said, âIt didnát look that deep.ã Here, he had just resurfaced after having to dive underwater to hook the wrecker chain to his vehicle.
Patterson Field in East Liverpool flooded Wednesday not from the nearby river but from over-taxed storm drains. A worker at the field said one of the new locker rooms also flooded.
Portions of Patterson Field were under water, and a worker said one of the two new locker rooms also was flooded by water coming from storm drains. The river was not flooding and, in fact, appears to not be overly high as of this writing, but flash flood warnings have been issued for the county.
City officials were astounded by the amount of water flowing through streets, along railroad tracks and into basements, with the East End hit especially hard.
Ive lived down here 43 years and never saw it like this, Mayor Jim Swoger said as he, Service-Safety Director Ryan Estell, deputy Service-Safety Director Dan Galeoti and planning Director Bill Cowan assessed the situation.
One man who said he was from Chester, W.Va., attempted to drive his car through a flooded East End street and quickly found the water up to the windshield. He had to abandon the vehicle through the window and it was towed from the water.
Another woman also had her vehicle stuck in the same high water. She was not reached for comment.
In adjacent Liverpool and St. Clair townships, fire and police personnel have been out all morning, blocking roadways and pumping flooded basements.
Annesley Road near state Route 267 was blocked after a large volume of water coming from a drain poured across it.
By 9:15, dark clouds had begun to reform and lightning flared, prompting Swoger to order all city workers out of the standing water where they were trying to unclog drains.
We dont want anybody hurt, he said, adding they had pulled workers from other departments to assist street crews.
Officials are still assessing damages at this time, and more information will be published in tomorrows Morning Journal.