OH flood is one more challenge for couple

BY PJ HELLER | OHIO | July 9, 1998


OHIO (July 9, 1998) -- For Glennadine and Earl Greenwald, the recent floods in central and

southeastern Ohio were just the latest crisis of many such events the

couple has had to overcome.

The Greenwalds are "a family that has had a lot of stuff dumped on

them in many ways," says the Rev. J. Terry Marsh of the First Christian

Church (Disciples of Christ) in Uhrichsville, Ohio. Glennadine

Greenwald suffered a stroke last October. Earl Greenwald, who she had

married only seven months earlier, underwent open heart surgery in March

and has been on disability ever since. Until the storms and flooding

started inundating the state on June 24, the couple had lived in a modular

home in Uhrichsville with Glennadine's two grown sons from a previous

marriage, both of whom suffer from mental retardation.

The Greenwald's home suffered such extensive water damage from

heavy rains and from when the Big and Little Stillwater Creeks spilled

their banks that the structure was condemned. They did not have flood

insurance.

The couple, along with Glennadine's sons, 43-year-old Richard and

42-year-old Jay Toole, found themselves homeless. They managed to get out

of their house with some clothes but appliances and much of their furniture

was destroyed.

Marsh said paneling in the home was ruined by water which had gone

halfway up to the ceiling and the floor joists were twisted and ruined. "The floor is heaved in one area and the television set has fallen through the floor in another area," he said. Glennadine, who has lived in the small town for 14 years, said she had never seen anything like the recent floods.

"It was the worst we've seen," she said of the storms which officials said

destroyed or damaged more than 1,000 homes and caused more than $130

million in damages. "We had a flood in 1990, but it wasn't like this," she said. "It was just up to our front steps."

This time she wasn't so lucky.

Her house was among 27 in the community in Tuscarawas County that

were "red tagged," indicating that they were condemned, Marsh reported. The

county was among 23 counties already declared federal disaster areas in the

state.

"I never envisioned I'd be in this situation," sobbed 61-year-old

Glennadine Greenwald. "I never figured this would happen to us." Friends in

the area provided temporary housing for Glennadine, Earl, 63, and one of

her sons. Her other son stayed with a cousin. Other evacuees from the town

and surrounding areas were housed in a Red Cross shelter in Midvale or

found housing with friends and family. The shelter has since been closed.

On Monday, the family moved into a second-story, two-bedroom

apartment in Uhrichsville.

"There are 22 steps we have to climb, but we'll do our best,"

Glennadine said, adding that she felt lucky that the family was able to

find any place to live since housing is in such short supply.

The Red Cross donated some furniture to the family; the Eleventh Street

Church of God in Uhrichsville provided some financial aid. Although the

Greenwalds are not members of Marsh's church, he has offered some

counseling.

"She (Glennadine) was so distraught that she was physically

paralyzed," Marsh said of her condition late last week. "I was called by

the mayor's office to come down and comfort her and talk with her. She was

just frozen with fear."

Marsh said that while flooding was even worse downstream from the

Uhrichsville area, the needs there were still great.

"Just because the waters came and went quicker than what they had

downstream doesn't mean that our people are hurting any less," he told a

joint meeting of the Red Cross and faith-based organizations. "For a small

community, it's been pretty devastating."

"Yes, it's very difficult," Greenwald said of her own personal trauma as

she fought to hold back more tears. "I'm not supposed to cry," she

sniffed.

Posted July 9, 1998


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