BOARDMAN, Ohio (WKBN) – On Sunday, Sept. 4, eight days ago, 4.2 inches of rain fell in three hours over Boardman, flooding a section of the Boardman Plaza and many other of the township’s neighborhoods.

It’s why 100 people showed up to Monday evening’s Boardman trustees meeting demanding answers for problems some say they’ve been dealing with for 20 years.

Lee Wilson lives on Boardman’s Wingate Road, adjacent to Youngstown’s Brownlee Woods neighborhood. When it rains hard, he needs three pumps to get rid of the water in his basement.

“My rugs are floating and my wife’s crying. The basement that I finished a couple years ago, the dry wall’s all ruined,” Wilson said.

Wilson was the first person to speak at the trustees meeting on the township’s flooding problems. He has a solution.

“First of all, I think you should pay for everything. You should find some local plumbers, rent them out, find a company that buys flow back valves, buy 1,000 of them, and then go through Boardman and do it and call it a day,” Wilson said.

“In the past five years, we’ve had some storm events that are astronomical,” said Boardman administrator Jason Loree.

Loree began the meeting by explaining how the township is solving the problems. Much of the stormwater pipe needs to be replaced. It is metal, it has rusted and it has collapsed. He says the number one priority is getting homes out of flood plains.

“The problem is we can’t build infrastructure big enough to deal with those type of events, so the best thing we can try to do is reclaim those areas,” Loree said.

“We don’t want to hear what money y’all don’t want to spend because we have spent a lot of money,” said Boardman resident ShoMore DeNiro.

DeNiro lives on Romaine Avenue near Akron Children’s Hospital. With 83 percent of the flooding caused by overflowing sewers, she and others were livid that sanitary engineer Pat Ginnetti did not attend, even though he was invited.

“Patrick, that’s a disgrace and I hope he sees this. I hope his people see this. It’s a disgrace that you have no decency to show here and none of your representatives can be here. What is that?” DeNiro said.

And then there were these words from a man who said he was a teacher with a painting business on the side:

“If you can’t come to the table or get something done, if you can’t absorb the county responsibilities and get rid of this, Ginnetti, then I’m sorry, find somebody who can.”

In regard to not making it to the meeting, Ginnetti said he had prior commitments. He sent the following statement:

“The issue the Sanitary Department is forced with dealing with is rain water corrupting the sanitary sewer… The storm on 9/4 is not the responsibility of the Sanitary Engineering Department to handle… The department and myself are not to blame here.”

People were also told to install backflow valves to keep sewage out of their houses, though they were reminded to have them installed correctly and to clean them out every six months.