WICKLIFFE, Ohio -- Dozens of concerned residents packed the cramped Wickliffe city council chambers to address local flooding problems Monday night.
The special meeting was held in response to flooding after heavy rain fell on July 20. About 4.5 to 6 inches of rain fell in a 5-hour period. As many as 1,000 homes flooded in the lower, northern part of the city. Many basements were flooded with storm and sanitary sewer water.
City officials called it a historic rain.
"That was a 220-year rain," said city engineer, Peter Formica. He showed the crowd picture graphs of statistics of rainfall in previous years.
But skeptical residents say it's not all Mother Nature's fault. They still remember another so-called "200-year rain" in July 2006, when many parts of Lake County were under water, resulting in the declaration of a state of emergency.
"The city is going to have to figure out why this is happening, and what can be done to alleviate the problem," said resident Paul Krizner.
City officials say options that are being considered include building overflow basins to ease the burden on storm and sewer drains, and allowing residents to disconnect the downspouts on their homes, in order to channel the storm water elsewhere.