Wednesday, July 18, 2001

Overnight storms fatal

Two dead, one missing in Tristate

The Cincinnati Enquirer

[photo] A teen-age girl is presumed drowned after this SUV drove into high water at Kemper and Loveland-Madeira roads.
(Craig Ruttle photos)
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        A father and daughter drowned in Fairfax and a 16-year-old girl was missing and presumed drowned in Symmes Township as a result of flooding caused by heavy thunderstorms late Tuesday and early today.

        The Fairfax father and daughter drowned in their basement on Simpson Road during a flash flood in the Little Duck Creek. Neighbors had to be rescued.

        In Symmes Township, a teen was swept away by a flooded creek. The girl was one of four persons in an SUV that drove into high water at Kemper and Loveland Madeira roads, next to Sycamore Creek, shortly after midnight, according to the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office. The vehicle stalled and drifted toward the creek, stopping at the retaining wall, which was submerged by water. The other three persons got out on the driver's side and escaped, but the girl crawled out a window on the right side and fell unknowingly over the retaining wall into the creek.

        She was last seen being swept under the bridge at Loveland Madeira Road. The search for her resumed at dawn.

        Names of the victims were not immediately released.

        More flooding could occur today. The Little Miami River is expected to crest 3 feet above flood stage at Milford. In addition, more rain is predicted Weather page).

        Damage was reported throughout the Tristate Tuesday night. A roof at Nash-Finch at 6300 Creek Road in Blue Ash collapsed, flooding the food distribution center. An apparent roof collapse also damaged the Goodwill store in Loveland. A Cincinnati Gas & Electric substation at Blue Rock and East Miami roads was reportedly struck by lightning and caught fire about 12:50 a.m. In Mason, homes near Kings Mills Road were flooded.

[photo] Rick Muskopf a worker at the Goodwill Industries store at the Loveland Center plaza in Loveland, walks through flood waters early Wednesday morning. Heavy rains caused the store's roof to collapse.
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        Some areas got 4-6 inches of rain in less than an hour. Trees were reported down in many areas due to 30-mph winds.

        Just before 1 a.m., Bethesda North Hospital reported it was on diversion —not accepting any new patients — until 7 a.m. because of high water.

        About 5,000 customers were without power as high winds knocked trees and limbs onto power lines in northwest Clermont County and Miami Township. CG&E spokesman Steve Brash said 25 crews were dispatched and the utility expected to have power restored to most customers by this morning.

        Flooded roads were reported in the Kenwood area, and a car was reported in East Fork Creek near U.S. 50 in Clermont County.

        William A. Weathers and Craig Ruttle contributed to this report.

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