UA cleans up after ‘five-year’ rainstorms

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Upper Arlington crews continued to clean up Wednesday, June 25, a day after thunderstorms caused substantial flooding on local streets.

On Tuesday, June 24, the skies opened up over central Ohio and unleashed enough rain to cause problems from Gahanna to Upper Arlington, north to the city of Delaware and many points in between.

Public Services Manager Buddy Caplinger said approximately 30 Upper Arlington city streets experienced flooding during the storms on Tuesday, and they left a bit of a mess in their wakes.

“It was throughout the city and that’s just because of the capacity of our (stormwater) systems,” Caplinger said. “That water has to go somewhere. There’s now debris we need to clean up.”

Numerous local roadways – including Coach, Fishinger, Lane and McCoy roads, Kioka Avenue, Donna Drive and others – were flooded to the point that some parked cars were under water, Caplinger said.

In most cases, city officials said, the water was simply too plentiful to drain off.

In other cases, the Evans and Turkey Run watersheds swelled and overflowed.

“It was just a huge rainfall,” said Jackie Thiel, Upper Arlington’s interim city engineer. “We got 1.12 inches in 30 minutes (according to the Rainfall Atlas of the Midwest).

“That is equivalent to a five-year rain for a 30-minute duration.”

Caplinger said his crews worked until 11 p.m. Tuesday to assist with opening flooded roadways before returning on Wednesday for the clean-up effort, which focused on removing downed tree limbs, litter and other items from city streets.

Most streets were passable by Wednesday morning, he said.

Caplinger said the city received numerous calls regarding water seeping into residential basements and other flooding on private properties, but his crews could do little to address those issues.

“It was an act of God,” he said. “There was absolutely nothing we could do about it.”

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