City Looks for Federal Help for Flood Costs - Toledo News Now, Breaking News, Weather, Sports, Toledo

City Looks for Federal Help for Flood Costs

TOLEDO -- The bills are starting to come in from Toledo's recent devastating floods.  Damage has been so bad that some folks have left for good, and others are considering leaving.  Meanwhile, the city continues to rack up thousands of dollars in costs, looking to the federal government for reimbursement.

Four separate storms have dumped more than a foot of rain on some parts of the Toledo area since late June.  That has led to flooding four separate times for some neighborhoods.

While the sandbags continue to pile up on Crawford Street, Deanna Penske isn't waiting.  Her basement flooded, and the walls collapsed.  Now she's moved in with her son, and will move into a rental property August 1st.  When will she move back to Crawford Avenue?  "When they figure out the flood problem, then I'll think about it," said Penske.  "I'll get slammed again until they get it fixed."

Toledo taxpayers are also paying a steep cost for the flooding.  The four floods we've had since June 21st have cost the Public Utilities department alone more than $300,000.  That includes overtime paid to police and fire crews as well as workers in the sewer and streets departments.  Some city buildings and vehicles were also damaged.

The city hopes the Federal Emergency Management Agency will release emergency funds to the city to off-set expenses from all four floods.  "We're trying to get [the four floods] under the same disaster degree. I don't know if we'll be able to do that but that's our goal."  If they were lumped together, then FEMA money would reimburse the city for all its expenses, not just for the first flood for which the county and state declared a state of emergency.

Flooding along Crawford Avenue and other parts of Lucas County is now becoming a political issue.  Republican County Commissioner candidate George Sarantou is calling for a study to address flooding issues.  "What we really need is for all jurisdictions within Lucas County to assess where storm water challenges are located and to determine solutions to that future flooding and the damage that goes with it will be minimal," said Sarantou.

But not even a study will bring Deanna Penske back to Crawford Avenue.  "I wouldn't trust the city. I'd have to watch the water for a while before I decide."

Count on News 11 to follow this story as it develops.

Posted by AEB