Worthington residents advised to report flood damage
Worthington residents whose properties were ravaged by recent flood waters still are able to report the damage and could be eligible for future compensation.
Officials from Franklin County Emergency Management and Homeland Security and volunteers from the Community Emergency Response Team have been identifying and documenting properties that experienced flood and storm-related damage as a result of the torrential rainfall May 18 and 19.
But those who have not been contacted still may email email@example.com or call Franklin County Emergency Management and Homeland Security at 614-794-0213 and submit their name, address and phone number, as well as a summary of the damage sustained, according to worthington.org. Photos and other documentation are helpful for the report, the website said.
"The purpose of this data collection is to document and aggregate the amount of damage across the region for submission to state and federal governments in order to seek a Franklin County disaster declaration," the city's website said. "If this is achieved, which could take several months, some flood victims would be able to access low-interest Small Business Administration loans or other approved assistance. The city of Worthington is assisting to provide damage assessments on public infrastructure and property and is sharing information we have accumulated from residents on private-property damage."
In addition, Franklin County Auditor Michael Stinziano is providing resources to help property owners who have been affected by storm damage get property-tax relief. Ohio law gives county auditors the authority to reduce real-estate values for properties that have been damaged or destroyed by storms, according to worthington.org. For information, go to franklincountyauditor.com.
The National Weather Service said Columbus set a daily rainfall record for May 18, with 2.33 inches recorded at John Glenn Columbus International Airport – smashing the previous record of 1.47 inches set for May 18 in 1923, according to The Columbus Dispatch.
And by 8:42 a.m. May 19, Columbus had surpassed the daily rainfall record for that date with 1.5 inches, besting the previous record of 1.49 inches set in 2017, the Dispatch reported.
The 24-hour rainfall total by the morning of May 19 was close to 4 inches, with more falling throughout the day and into the evening. That produced minor flooding along some central Ohio waterways and near flood stage along others, according to the Dispatch.
Some of the hardest-hit spots locally were low-lying areas near the Olentangy River, the flats at Thomas Worthington High School and Worthington Estates along Masefield Street, said city spokesperson Anne Brown.
"As the waters were rising, the fire crews went door to door in some areas, both in Worthington and in some township areas we cover, to alert some residents in the night," Brown said.
Dan Whited, the city's director of service and engineering, said crews were out "attempting to make sure waters were flowing as well as could be expected given the conditions."
"We did, but it took a long time for the water to recede," Whited said. "It was a major event, pretty extreme and pretty intense."