Martins Ferry overcome with damaging flash flooding


Martins Ferry was overcome with flash flooding, which led to residents wrestling with the loss of their belongings, and their suspicions about the cause of the flood.

The flooding occurred in the middle of Martins Ferry, where there are no rivers, creeks, or streams.

“Well, it covered my neighbor’s all the way up to his rear view mirror. You know, I lost all of my Christmas stuff, my pictures, my washer and my dryer,” said resident Betsy Polivka.

Fire Chief Jack Regis, who ordinarily rescues other people from emergencies, had an emergency of his own to deal with.

“It looked like a raging rapid type of river coming down the street. It was kind of frightening,” said Regis.

Resident Tom Burns told WTRF that it almost looked like a tsunami.

“It was pretty violent,” Burns said.

With four feet of water in his basement, Robert Mitchell’s washer, dryer, and water heater were tossed around like toys.

Mitchell said that the water was in his car, up to the seats.

Another resident’s car was moved by the force of the water.

Mitchell believes that the storm sewers are blocked and need to be cleaned out.

“You know, we’ve had trouble with the sewers before, and the city hasn’t done nothing about it. Not a thing about it. They smell all summer long,” Mitchell said.

Within six hours, Martins Ferry got 2.4 inches of rain.

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