On June 30, heavy rains hit Xenia, leading to flooding throughout much of the city.
The National Weather Service in Wilmington, Ohio says that two inches of rain fell on Xenia in less than eighty minutes. They say another resident recorded 1 inch of rainfall in just eighteen minutes.
That’s a lot of rain, and it overwhelmed Xenia’s stormwater system. Storm sewers backed up, causing flooding in the streets, especially in the area near downtown. A local business, Fast Fashions, had its roof cave in due to the weight of the water.
Ray Ferrell, The City of Xenia’s Public Service Maintenance Supervisor, says he’s never seen a storm like the one on Tuesday.
“I've been here for 20 years and I've seen a lot of storms and I've dealt with a lot of trees down, and wind damage," he said. "But I've never had rain hit that hard, that fast, and then be sunny an hour later. That was a new one for me.”
Ferrell is asking Xenia residents to check the catch basins on their street, and remove or report debris that’s blocking the drains. He says it will help prevent backups in storm sewers the next time it rains.
Residents can reach the Public Service Maintenance Division at 937-376-7265.
Environmental reporter Chris Welter is a corps member with Report for America, a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms.