The Press Newspaper

Toledo, Ohio & Lake Erie

The Press Newspaper

The Press Newspaper

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   Heavy rains in northwest Ohio two weeks ago caused drainage issues on sections of Pickle Road in Oregon. Many residents with flooded backyards called the city for help.
   “Several citizens contacted me when the rains were heavy,” Councilman James Seaman said at a council meeting last week. “We had three inches in two days. It was tough on our drainage system.
    The 3500 block of Pickle Road was especially hard hit, he said.
 
 "I went out there. It’s pretty bad. The water doesn’t move. It floods the yards badly. It wasn’t plugged up. The city makes a good effort to keep the storm sewers unplugged. But I guess the capacity is incapable when that much water comes down. Some of it was getting high around the houses. Some was going into one gentleman’s garage,” he said.
   A city crew came out and talked with residents “that made them feel better because the city came out,” he added. “It’s one of those tough situations. I know we have a project in the pipeline on Pickle Road, but it’s much further down. I don’t know if it will have any benefit. I don’t know if it’s feasible to put larger pipes in, if that would help, or if there’s just no place for it to go.”
   Public Service Director Paul Roman said that section of Pickle Road drains to Stadium Road before emptying into Wolf Creek. “It is in the Wolf Creek Watershed,” said Roman, “and Wolf Creek is a tough one. It’s one of the largest watersheds in our area – a 12-square mile watershed. The thing about that section of Pickle, and just like Stadium south of Pickle, it’s on a very upstream end of that system. When you try to improve drainage, you start at the downstream and work your way up. If you start at the upstream end, you’re sending it off to another bottleneck and it just makes it worse.”
 
Northeast wind
   To solve the problem on Pickle Road “you have to almost solve Wolf Creek’s problems,” said Roman. In addition, heavy rain with a northeast wind, as the city experienced two weeks ago, will always cause flooding.
  “I’ve said this in many past meetings and past storm events, no matter how big you make a drainage system in Oregon, if you have a northeast wind, you’re going to still feel like you’re at square one because nothing really drains out,” said Roman. “We did have a northeast wind Thursday night. It did shift to a north wind, and things got a little bit better.
    “One thing about drainage, too, as much as we open up a storm sewer to make sure it’s clean, people have to learn that you have to bring your backyard drainage out to the front,” Roman continued. “And if it was constantly draining itself prior to the event it would be in a much better situation than a bunch of low areas that are just already saturated before it rains. That makes it worse. That’s not to say we won’t improve Pickle Road. I just have to make sure the downstream portions are able to handle the flow before we improve it.”
    A drainage project on Pickle Road between Lallendorf and Coy consists of the installation of a regional detention facility underneath the power lines, said Roman.
    “The thought is that if this goes well, we can do that in a lot of other areas under Edison’s lines. It could do a lot of good.” Roman said he won’t give up on finding ways to improve Wolf Creek, which would cost millions of dollars.
    “It’s very difficult to improve Wolf Creek. We’ve done a lot of studies looking at different ways to improve it. I’m not saying we’ll stop from doing that. I’m just saying it’s not as easy. We’ll still continue to see what we can do to help.”
 
Water levels
    On a related matter, Councilwoman Sandy Bihn thanked city officials for their “forthright efforts” to help residents along Bay Shore Road during the heavy rains.
    “You guys put the sand bags up for the people who wanted them, you had the pump out, you were as proactive as you could be during that period, and the people along the shoreline sincerely appreciated it,” she said.
    Bihn also expressed concerns about the high water levels in the bay.
    “I don’t remember a year that I have seen the water levels as high as they currently are in the bay. It’s been a long time they’ve been this high in the spring. Going along St. Rt. 2 yesterday, in places that haven’t had water usually as you go out to Cedar Point, there’s water everywhere. I know it’s spring and we get rain in the spring, but the water levels seem quite high,” said Bihn, whose home overlooks the bay. “And if we continue to get rain, we’re going to continue to be challenged.”
    City Administrator Mike Beazley said he and Doug Wagner, of the water treatment plant, worried about the water levels as they watched the heavy rains. The city, he added, is developing some alternatives “to help us not worry as much but it still affects the bay a lot.”
 
 

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