Butler Twp. flash flooding leaves families with few options
BUTLER TWP., Ohio (WKEF/WRGT) - When the unbelievable happens, time seems to stand still.
"We're just not sure what we're gonna do," said Chelsey Anello. "It's just devastating right now."
Chelsey and her family were sorting through water-soaked possessions Monday, after flash flooding damaged almost everything.
"We just didn't even know where to begin. Where do you start, you know?"
Sunday night, Chelsey got a panicked called from her younger sister, after storms knocked over a tree in their backyard, blocking a levy. Within half an hour, Alvira Avenue was under water.
"With my cat in her jacket, a dog on her shoulder, her book bag for school... she made it out in waist deep full water," Chelsey said about her sister.
The family found a safe place to sleep overnight. Monday morning, they returned to the devastation.
"We've had stuff forever that we now have to carry out, and put in a pile that we call "stuff" because it's too hard to call it trash," Chelsey told Fox 45's Shavon Anderson.
The walls and floors were caked in mud. Water filled the refrigerator and oven, and their home business 'In Zone Roofing and Restoration' is inoperable. The flooding hit most of the area. The house across the street had their cars stall out. Next door, an elderly couple was water-rescued overnight, after they couldn't escape the fast-rising storm. Down the road, more residents were gutting their garages, and drying out their homes, with few options.
The group said none had flood insurance because they were told they didn't need it.
The flash flood is a flashback for Chelsey's family, who went through this exact same thing 24 years ago in Florida.
"That's the hard part," Chelsey's mom, Beverly, said. "I've already did this once, and I didn't ever want to do this again."
Their lifetime investment is also gone. The house was just paid off earlier this year. Now, they'll have to start over.
"All I want is for my family to feel okay after something like this because it's tragic," Chelsey added.
The family said township officials did come out to check the damage, but said nothing could be done on their part. They were told the county couldn't help either. They're hoping to get claims through disaster relief.