“On Saturday night (May 14) I had to watch as the water and sewage came into my basement,” said Karen Pavlansky from Fairview Avenue. “It was coming though my shower drain.”
She said it happened in 2009 and that her insurance won’t cover her losses because it is not just rain water coming in. Pavlansky was one a several residents who experienced severe flooding issues from the Saturday storm.
Fairview resident Dave Karash said he got the first flood in 2003-04 and believed there were plans to resolve the issue.
“The simple fact is, whoever engineered the project to get rid of the water needs to know its not working,” Karash told council. “My suggestion is to get a second opinion because what we are doing is not fixing it.”
Jim Litwin, another Fairview resident said, “I’ve lived here three years and two times have been flooded. Something has got to be done. I don’t want to be flooded out every two years.”
Mike Kubitza, also of Fairview said he moved to Canfield in 1977 and built a new garage on his property in 1993. He recalled the city installing a larger drain to help with runoff around that time.
“Since then I have seen two major basement and two garage floods,” Kubitza said. “I have installed sump pumps and on Saturday it took them three hours to take the flood waters away. I lost my hot water heating and am having my furnace inspected. I’m looking at $2,000 in damage. We have seen four 100-year storms in recent times. How can that be?”
He asked if council would consider taking a raised section out of the road and flattening it out to insure the water runs away.
While the Fairview problem seemed to focus on the problem of sewer backup, other parts of the city had just storm water flooding to a great extent. On Callahan, several residents showed up with complaints of water in the basement and backyards as well as street flooding.
Don Loree said he experienced three feet of water in his back shed and a foot in his basement. He said he is not in the dip, but up the road a ways.
“We never had this problem until the new pipes were put in,” he said “We never had flooding like this. Something needs to be looked at and redesigned.”
Fellow Callahan resident Russ Ensley agreed with Loree and said, “I know we spent a lot of money on this new system, but it didn’t help at all. We are back to square one.”
He said his family and others on the street have to drop everything when they are out and a big rain hits. They have to head home and prepare to fight flood waters.
George Condoleon, also of Callahan said he has lived in Canfield for 17 years and has been dealing with the flooding issues since the 1990s. He said over recent years he has seen close to $100,000 in losses from flooding on Callahan.
“No matter what you do before Glenview won’t help,” Condoleon said. “You have a 50 gallon barrel with a two-liter bottle opening.”
He said he has roughly a $20,000 loss from the recent storm and he was someone agitated over the issue.
Glenview residents were also somewhat upset and in attendance. One Glenview resident was Kathy Brocker who said she would let the city build a retention pond on her property and she also wants to put a pond in her front yard.
“My only concern with the front yard is will a pond end up flooding my basement,” she said. “As for my backyard, I want to help my neighbors, I’m willing to do this.”
Also speaking were Steve Easton from Glenview, Bob Minkler from Montgomery Lane who owns property on Callahan, and Jim Litwin of Fairview.
After everyone has spoken, City Manager Joe Warino said the rain patterns have changed drastically. He said the original city storm sewer system was made to handle the 25-year storm.
“We’re getting the 100-year storms and 500-year storms,” Warino said. “Regarding the storm on May 14, I’ve never seen a storm of that magnitude before.”
He said to design a system to handle the 100-year storm would come with a very high price tag.
“Where would that money come from?” he said.
He went on to say the magnitude of Saturday’s storm affected many communities and Canfield was not alone in the flood damage. He then made the statement that his number one priority is the back up of sewage into basements. He said a firm has been engaged to investigate about one-fourth of the city to try to come up with a solution to the problem.
Council President Andy Skrobola said, “To say the city is not doing anything, excuse me, but that is not the case. It’s a big problem that can’t be cured overnight....We have an old system in town. I appeal to you for patience.”
Glenview resident Frank Micchia went from speeding water to speeding cars when he again asked the city to consider speed humps on Glenview. He said the police had set up a concentrated radar effort on May 12 that yielded four citations in 45 minutes.
“Obviously there are speeders on Glenview,” he said. “So far, city council has refused to consider traffic calming devices. Obviously, spot radar checks are not the answer. The ball is in city council’s court. What are you going to do?”
Regarding the flooding, Micchia said there is a new system on Callahan, but it needs a place to go down stream.
In other business:
• Nancy brundage got council’s approval to place a sign at city hall to bring awareness to the issue of the emerald ash borer, a non-native insect attacking Ohio’s ash trees. She said the week of May 23 is awareness week and all local residents are being asked to “burn it where you buy it” which is an effort to keep firewood in the community it is purchased in as the firewood is one way the ash borer is spreading.
• Council approved an ordinance to participate in the state purchase contracts for sodium chloride (road salt).
• Approval was given to enter into a contract with Diorio Paving at a cost not to exceed $245,000 for the 2011 street repaving program. City engineer Gary Diorio stated the company is no relation to himself.
• Council approved the replat of Canfield City Lot 75 at 101 Broad St. and 15 Scott St. by Gerald Petrock.
Photo by J.T. Whitehouse, Town Crier
Mayor William Kay gets together with Nancy Brundage who is displaying a sign that was placed in front of city hall this week to remind residents not to transport wood out of the area or bring wood in because of the threat of the emerald ash borer, an insect that is threatening Ohio’s ash trees.