Thursday, July 19, 2001

Dozens rescued in flood from rising Little Muddy

Warren homes awash

By Michael D. Clark
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        TURTLECREEK TWP. — When flash flood waters came in the early morning darkness, Dave Lawless watched his new Dodge Stratus wash away without a moment's regret.

        All that was on his mind was helping his wife and three small children escape their mobile home to high ground.

        “I saw the car floating down the street and just thought, "Forget it,'” the Turtlecreek Township resident said. “My wife and kids were hysterical with fear, and I was only worried about getting them out of the water.”

        The family escaped the nearly 4-foot high water that spilled out of nearby Little Muddy Creek. His car eventually wound up down the street, its interior covered in creek sludge.

        Nearly a dozen other residents of the Shadow Lake Village Mobile Home Park, off Mason-Montgomery Road and southwest of Lebanon, had to be rescued by firefighters using a boat. No one was injured.

        Fear kept Shadow Lake resident Phyllis McBride and her family in their mobile home. Unable to swim, Ms. McBride spent a harrowing night sitting in the dark listening to flood waters lap the underside of her trailer, which had lost electricity and phone service.

        “It was scary being inside, especially since I can't swim. We couldn't get out,” she said as her family cleaned their Horseshoe Drive mobile home.

        Turtlecreek Township paramedic Saundra Stevens helped evacuate residents and said the tiny mobile home community was the hardest hit in the township.

        “There are a lot of fields around there, and when it rains as heavily as it did last night, there's not place for the water to go,” Ms. Stevens said.

        Across Warren County, about a half-dozen roads were closed due to flooding during all or part of the day Wednesday as several inches of rain fell in the area. Many of the county's rural roads were littered with gravel from creeks and streams, driftwood or tree branches.

        Warren County Engineer Neil Tunison said none of the county's 374 bridges were washed out, but crews were checking for damage.

        Two backed-up storm drains on Kings Mill Road in Deerfield Township pushed 6 feet of water into the basement boiler room of the old Kings Mill Elementary.

        No one was injured, and Deerfield Township Fire crews cleared itby noon.

        Bob Grigsby, business manager for Kings Local Schools, said the water damage to the heating system was minimal and estimated the cost of repair, cleanup and sterilization to be more than $2,000.


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teens were on way to help out a friend
Victims were kind, helpful
- Dozens rescued in flood from rising Little Muddy
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