The Labor Day storms that dumped approximately 4½ inches of rain on the city did not cause as much damage as a similar rain event in May, said Mayor Kevin Corcoran.
“There wasn’t any particular location that was worse than others,” the mayor said.
City Hall received phone calls regarding flooding from a half dozen locations, including Olive Avenue, Mills Road and Mills Creek Lane. And while the city fared better than it did in May, Corcoran didn’t downplay the flooding that did occur.
“It’s still not great for those people who were affected,” he said.
Five inches of rain fell the weekend of May 23-24. Corcoran believes the smaller amount of rain on Labor Day, as well as steps taken by the city to prevent flooding, led to fewer problems.
One way the city tracks wastewater flow is the water level in the main collection well at the French Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant. Water in the collection well reached 33 feet during the May rain incident. On Labor Day, it was 31 feet. City Engineer Daniel Rodriguez called that a “significant difference.”
“We’re constantly working on this, on these issues,” Corcoran said. A stormwater management fee the city began collecting about a year and a half ago is helping North Ridgeville deal with flooding issues.
The monthly fee is approximately $4 per unit for residential and commercial properties. Collected fees for the current year amount to approximately $522,000 through July, said city Treasurer Brian Keller.
“We have guys in ditches every single day cleaning them out,” Corcoran said. “We’re trying to make improvements on a daily basis.”
A $5 million retention pond behind homes on Boulder Drive east of Lear Nagle Road will help control stormwater. The city needs roughly an additional $3.5 million to complete it, Corcoran said. Officials hope to get a grant from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.
The city is negotiating with property owners to obtain easements to help channel stormwater to the retention basin.
“Once we get those easements, we can start working on the detention basin itself,” Corcoran said, adding he is hopeful the city can begin digging the basin next year.
Lear Nagel north of Chestnut Ridge Road and across the street from VFW Post 9871, 6805 Lear Nagle, was another flooding problem area on Labor Day. A man standing in the VFW parking lot about 4 p.m. watching water flow on the other side of the road said the problem occurs at least three or four times a year and has for some time. He added that, fortunately, floodwaters do not reach the VFW Hall. The man, who declined to give his name, said he retired after 20 years with the city service department.
“We had flooding all over Northeast Ohio,” Corcoran said. “There just seems to be more frequent storms than in the past and the severity of them has increased as well.”
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