KINSMAN, Ohio (WKBN) – Saturday morning’s short, but intense storm left massive damage all across Kinsman — the lake even overflowed, leaving many people unable to get to and from their homes.
“During that rain, the causeway that goes across Lakeview Drive collapsed and has left several residents back there stranded,” said Lt. Jerad Sutton, Ohio State Highway Patrol – Warren Post.
Kinsman Trustee Greg Leonhard said there are about 30 houses near the lake that are accessible only by that bridge, so a rescue effort was put together to help bring people in safely.
Rescue crews initially planned to use lifeboats to get people out, but due to the rushing water, they decided against it. They instead decided to use ATVs to go through the woods to get to the properties.
Ken Stafford’s wife was one of the first people rescued from the neighborhood. Now, the couple is temporarily without a home.
“I’m not going to go home. Going to go up to my sons’, who lives about a mile from here,” Stafford said. “I’ve lived here 27, 28 years and it’s never been this bad.”
A command center was set up at State Routes 7 and 87 at Heritage Hill Farms, so crews could help people who were trapped inside their homes.
People living in Kinsman Center also dealt with flash flooding, sinkholes and high water.
One woman’s chickens were even washed away.
“When I got home, the whole front yard was covered in water. We had cars in the yard underwater, car trailers washed away, swing sets that have washed away,” said Julie Ruble.
Flooded basements and destroyed sheds left many residents overwhelmed by the devastation.
Tina Lukehart says her mother has lived in Kinsman for about 40 years and lost everything. She asked who will be helping residents, many of whom don’t have flood insurance.
“My mom just lost everything that she had. Who’s going to help her clean after everything that she lost?” Lukehart said.
When all is said and done, officials expect the damage costs to go into the millions of dollars.
“A million dollars worth of damage — one million plus, which is preliminary — to road, that hasn’t to do with residences or anything like that. The only positive I can think of in this situation is there are no reported injuries because of it,” Sutton said.