KINSMAN, Ohio (WKBN) – When a storm blew over Trumbull County Saturday morning and caused a bridge to collapse in Kinsman, dozens of people from more than 30 homes were left stranded.
They had no access to electricity or emergency services.
As floodwaters ripped through the area, tearing up the streets, rescue crews had to figure out how to get them out.
“This is crazy. Emotional roller coaster today,” said resident Joshua Upshire.
Fifty-five people had to be evacuated from their homes.
“Well, I actually work second shift so my buddy’s son come upstairs and woke me up. He’s like, ‘The bridge is gone.’ So I came downstairs to see what had happen and the bridge was gone,” said resident Shayne Benner.
Due to the speed of the waters, rescue teams had to improvise. Plus, some of those flooded roads were the only way out for people.
“The lake actually went down a little too quick for them and the speed of the water, coming down, they weren’t able to get to us. So, then we had heard they were going to try to come through some fields that we have, back there with some ATVs,” Upshire said.
People were then brought to the Kinsman Presbyterian Church, where they could regroup and figure out their next move.
Different departments went to help from throughout the area, even volunteer groups went. One was a group of eight Girl Scouts who left camp just to help those in need.
“I called down to the girl in charge of the Girl Scouts and she gathered up some girls. They gave up their day, gave up their canoeing and swimming, and they all decided to come up and help the community,” said Becky Collins, a Girl Scout mom.
The American Red Cross was also there to help people find temporary housing. They say staying with family or friends is the best option.
“We found over other disasters, people would much rather stay with families than a shelter. Usually, a shelter is a last resort,” said Karen Conklin, executive director of the Red Cross Lake to River Chapter.
Trumbull County engineers estimate it might take 30 to 60 days until people can get back into their homes, causing some worry for residents.
“How I’m going to get to and from work and to get to see my child ’cause both of my vehicles are in my driveway and I can’t get them out,” Benner said.
Rescue crews allowed everyone one trip back to their homes to gather what they needed.
“My wife and I are school teachers, she’s a school psychologist and I’m a teacher. We have to figure out everything we need for work. We start school in a month or two,” Upshire said.
The Presbyterian Church’s pastor said everyone found a place to stay, at least for the short term.
Officials said that even though it was very hot out, they didn’t have any cases of heatstroke or heat exhaustion. They also wanted to thank everyone who either donated food, water, their ATVs or their time to get these people to safety.