Flooding spoiled the debut of Picktown Palooza, which was supposed to begin July 13, but the festival is expected to begin at noon July 15 at Pickerington Farmers Market on North Center Street, according to organizers.

Licking and Fairfield counties were cleaning up after heavy rains caused flash flooding that forced the evacuation of a handful of residents late July 13.

Organizers of the new Picktown Palooza festival scrambled the afternoon of July 13 after several feet of water from nearby Sycamore Creek deluged Victory Park. The flash flood covered an adjacent school football field and the festival grounds in 10 to 15 minutes.

“It rose so quickly,” said Heather Kessler, a Pickerington native who was rolling up temporary fencing July 14.

“Everything was covered in water,” added Edward Drobina, services director for the city of Pickerington, who was out surveying the aftermath. “By 9, most of the water had left this park area.”

The flooding occurred before the festival started, so there weren’t crowds in the vicinity.

With the move to the farmers market, Soul Asylum and Cracker will play as scheduled July 15. And the Kate Hasting Band, which was to headline the festival July 14, will play at 5 p.m. July 15, Leas said. The cost to attend is $5.

Some of the amusement rides and vendors also are making the move, said Chris Leas, vice president of Panger Productions, the festival’s organizer.

“The sun’s drying up what little rain is left,” he said.

Meanwhile, the water in areas near Buckeye Lake was still rising the morning of July 14, and at midday, the Ohio Department of Transportation had closed Interstate 70 east near Route 158 and Interstate 70 west near Gratiot in eastern Licking County after water continued to flow over the highway.

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