Sunday, March 9, 1997
Lucasville prison
doing double duty

Ohio National Guard troops have a new place to drop off their laundry: Lucasville's maximum-security prison.

Inmates at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility are doing the laundry for more than 1,300 troops providing flood relief in Southwestern Ohio.

The prison also is serving as a distribution center for cleaning supplies in the Scioto County area.

Inmates from other Ohio prisons - including Hocking, Ross and Southeastern correctional institutions - are on cleanup crews. They are working on roads from Shawnee State Park, near Portsmouth, to the streets of Manchester in Adams County.

- Tanya Bricking

Want a souvenir from the Flood of '97? Soggy bags of cement mix used as sandbags in downtown Aurora were available for the taking Saturday. A large sign in the window of one downtown store offered the concrete bags, which weigh 80 pounds dry, compliments of Aurora Lumber.

By midday, there didn't appear to be any takers.

- Beth Menge

Throngs of gawkers continue to cause trouble for Cincinnati workers and residents trying to clean up.

''We still don't need people in general along the riverfront, but particularly ... in the residential areas,'' City Manager John Shirey said Saturday. ''They have enough problems as it is. We don't need sightseers in those areas.'' For those who want to gaze at the swollen river, Mr. Shirey suggested driving along Columbia Parkway, walking along the plaza at Cinergy Field or going to the observation deck atop Carew Tower.

- Kristen DelGuzzi

Ted Chaney, his wife and mother-in-law waited out the flood in their two-story stucco house on Second Street in Manchester.

They passed the time drinking beer and playing cards, Mr. Chaney said. By Wednesday, they had only one electrical outlet still working in the house, as water swamped the basement and spilled over the porch.

''What we would do is alternate plugging in the TV and the space heater,'' Mr. Chaney said.

He spent Saturday slopping mud out of his basement and pulling carpeting out into the sun to dry. He remained nonchalant about the week of flooding.

''It was basically just time to chill out,'' he said.

- Lisa Donovan

Carol Forste always poked fun at the weathered wooden wheelbarrow her husband placed at the corner of their property at Elizabeth and Third streets in Moscow.

On Saturday, after surveying the damage to her home for the first time since the flooding, she decided it had earned its place in the yard.

''That's the only thing that stayed in the yard,'' she said viewing the wheelbarrow from her perch on the deck. ''I guess it was meant to be.''

- Sheila McLaughlin

Traveling more than 200 miles, Police Officer David Calhoun of Sagamore Hills, Mich., on Saturday escorted a truck full of cleaning supplies and some of the first food that Neville residents here have received since the floods hit last weekend.

After a brief stop, the crew moved over the dry back-country roads in search of Chilo to deliver more goods. These were river towns Officer Calhoun and Sagamore Hills residents in Summit County hadn't heard of until the flood made national news.

''We feel sorry for the people down here,'' Officer Calhoun said. ''It could be us.''

- Sheila McLaughlin

First a fire. Now a flood.

''It's not been a good month,'' said Dean Gregory, one of the owners of the Montgomery Inn restaurants.

Last month, Montgomery Inn-East in Cherry Grove, smallest of the three establishments, was destroyed by fire. Then the flood shut down the Montgomery Inn Boathouse more than a week. The restaurant was not damaged and plans to reopen Monday evening.

Doug Eppert, the restaurant's general manager, said it has business-interruption insurance. The policy also covers part of the lost wages of the restaurant's 260 employees.

That will help offset some of the restaurant's losses from being shut down for more than a week. Still, how many businesses incur two disasters within one month's time?

''There's no insurance people beating to get our business,'' Mr. Eppert said.

- Guy Boulton