Flooding Devastates Some Belmont County Properties
STEWARTSVILLE — Judy Hendershot said she and her husband lost all of their possessions as a result of flash flooding on Sunday.
Hendershot, whose home is located along McMahon Creek in the Stewartsville area between Neffs and Glencoe, said she was at work when the water rose, but her husband was home and was able to save only a few things before escaping the deluge.
“Everything was lost … ,” Hendershot said as she stood along Ohio 149 on Monday, looking down on acres of mud that surrounded her residence. “My husband was able to move his Mustang and his truck and get our four cats, but when he went back for (some valuables) it was too deep.”
It was easy to see from that vantage point that the Hendershots’ home had been pushed off its foundation. dozens of footprints dotted the muddy lawn, showing where family members, neighbors and others had approached the home on an effort to retrieve anything that was salvageable.
This is not the first time the couple has survived flooding on their property. And Judy Hendershot said she doesn’t expect to receive much help.
“In ’04 the flood insurance didn’t help with hardly anything,” she said, noting that they dropped the coverage as a result. Now she fears that she and her husband will find themselves in an even worse situation.
As of Monday afternoon, Hendershot said no first responders had been to her property or to that of a neighbor, who also appeared to have sustained heavy losses. The neighbor was working with a towing company to drag multiple vehicles out of the mud on his property, and the home and outbuildings on that site also appeared to be seriously damaged. Wet, damaged furniture was piled in front of one home that residents were working to clean out.
Hendershot was busy making calls seeking help. She did say representatives of the American Red Cross had visited and promised to bring vouchers that she and her husband will be able to use to purchase new clothing.
In Glencoe, Chad Clark was busy cleaning mud and debris from his lawn on Monday afternoon. Situated along Belmont County Road 5 and Clegg Road, his home had been surrounded by water on Sunday.
Access to County Road 5 from Ohio 149 was still blocked with a “Road Closed” sign on Monday. It was covered with mud and some shallow standing water, but residents in their vehicles were slowly making their way through the area.
Clark said a driver in a red Chevrolet Cavalier had attempted to navigate County Road 5 in front of his home at the height of the flooding but was unable to get through. Clark said when he went out to attempt to help the driver, he found himself wading through water on the roadway that was waist deep. That car was still sitting alongside the road late Monday.
Like Hendershot, Clark said this was not the first time he had experienced flash flooding, and he doesn’t think it will be the last.
Further west along Ohio 149 between Glencoe and Warnock, Carl Pierce was sitting on his porch Monday afternoon. He said the high water Sunday washed out a section of pavement on a small bridge nearby at the intersection of Denham Road in Smith Township.
He also pointed out that a larger bridge about 1/4-mile west of that had stopped debris being carried by the fast-flowing water, blocking the stream from flowing beneath the roadway.
In Warnock on Monday, evidence of Sunday’s high water could be seen in many areas. Grass and bushes were smashed flat by the high-running water, which apparently exceeded the banks of McMahon Creek and extended for many yards on either side of the stream bed. Mud, tree branches and plenty of manmade debris littered lawns and was caught on guardrails and bridge abutments.
The parking lot of Warnock Community Church was coated in mud and branches were scattered about.
All along the creek from Belmont to Neffs, branches were piled in several locations, roads and lawns were covered in mud and high water marks could be seen on homes, barns, sheds and vehicles.