Heavy rain causes flash flooding in OH

BY HENRY BRIER | CINCINNATI, OH | July 19, 2001


Two people were killed and a 16-year-old girl was missing and presumed drowned after flash floods struck the southwest corner of Ohio.

The Tuesday morning storm dropped up to 5 inches of rain on Village of Fairfax and the eastern Cincinnati area, according to George Sidall Jr., an Ohio-based, Church World

Service Disaster Response Consultant.

"There was a tremendous amount of water," said the Rev.  Thomas Eisentrout of the United Church of Christ in Hamilton County, where the flooding occurred. "It came down so quickly."

According to Village of Fairfax police, a 48-year-old man and his 21-year-old daughter were killed when floodwaters inundated the basement of their home.  The woman was asleep in the basement and her father had gone to check on her, authorities said.

The fire department pumped out of the basement and found the two bodies, police said. An autopsy was scheduled to determine the exact cause of death.

The missing teen-ager from Symmes Township was with four other people in a vehicle which became submerged. She was apparently swept away by a rain-swollen creek, authorities said. Her companions managed to reach safety.

Heavy rains affected the tri-state area -- Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky -- for several hours late Tuesday and early Wednesday, according to Gary Miller, director of disaster services for the American Red Cross chapter of Hamilton County.

More than 300 homes had basements that were filled with as much as six feet of water, officials said.

Sidall said survivors will be provided with money and cleanup kits.

Eisentrout said efforts will be directed at cleaning basements and removing debris. He said helpers are equipped with disaster packets.

"The organization is in place," he said.

A service center was operating at the community center where families can apply for assistance, Miller said. Families are receiving assistance on an individual basis, and damage assessment teams are canvassing the affected region.

Elsewhere, lightning strikes Tuesday night killed a bicyclist in Omaha, Neb., and injured 23 Marine

 reservists at Camp Ripley in Minnesota.


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