By ALIAH KIMBRO
The city of Elyria is ramping clean-up efforts following two days of storms.
Safety Service Director Matt Lundy is asking residents to be patient because it could take over a week for crews to finish.
“We’ll be tackling this for more than a week,” Lundy said. “We want to stress for residents to be patient because these severe streams are unlike we’ve seen in a long time, which means it’ll also take time for everything to get cleaned up.
“There’s a lot of work ahead for our crews, but they’re up for the challenge, there’s no question about that.”
The city operates its own sanitation system leaving the brunt of the work to administrations, he said.
“We’re out picking up stuff that people have brought to the curb from flooding impact,” Lundy said. “In an incident like this, we’re able to be the ones removing those types of items.”
administration couldn’t highlight any particular area of the city that was affected the hardest, crews are beginning their rounds with those residents experiencing flooding.
“With the amount of tree limbs and brush, it’s going to take some time to work through the city,” said Lundy. “At least where it concerns basement flooding, the northern part of the city seems to be the hardest hit.”
Due to the severity of storms, crews had to ensure it was safe before attempting to survey damage or provide assistance.
“We tried to make calls as quickly as we could before and during the storm,” Lundy said. “We have employees that have been with us for a long time, but have never experienced anything like this, so we’re assessing just how bad it really is.”
On the bright side, Lundy said the city’s aggressive approach to maintaining systems improved its ability to manage flooding.
“We’ve had on-going programs to make sure the sewers are free of any clogs or debris so that we can get the good flow that we need in situations like this,” he said. “I can’t stress enough how much the basement flooding reports have gone down significantly because we’ve been very aggressive in making sure that our systems are clear so nothing backs up and can flow directly into the plant.”
The city gauges that the plant received over 7.5 inches of rainfall in a short period of time, Lundy said.
“The plant was flooded and overcome by the waters because of the excessive rain,” he said. “There’s not a system designed to handle that kind of flow of water, because it is such a powerful force, and it certainly demonstrated that.”
Lundy said the administration will host a debrief next week to discuss response and effectiveness.
“We’re going to gather the team together next week, and I asked everyone to make good notes of what transpired during the storms,” he said. “We want to find out what went well, or didn’t, and how we can better address it in the future.”
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