Flood water receding in Leavittsburg - 21 News Now, More Local News for Youngstown, Ohio -


Flood water receding in Leavittsburg

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WARREN TWP., Ohio - Flood waters that forced dozens of families from their homes in Leavittsburg are now receding.

A National Weather Service web site that monitors levels of the Mahoning River at Leavittsburg show that the water crested at 16.21  feet at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday before beginning to retreat.

Areas of Trumbull county saw over four inches of rain on Wednesday and a day later all that rain led to flooding in many areas of the Mahoning river.

Early Thursday emergency crews knew areas of Leavittsburg were in for trouble as the Mahoning river started to quickly rise.

Warren Township fire officials asked for a voluntary evacuation.

Fire Chief Kenneth Schick says, "Most of these people will not evacuate because they are used to it they'll say we'll just wait it out and until the water starts to come into their front door they won't leave."

While a few residents did leave it didn't take long for the river to flood many areas of the Leavittsburg neighborhood close to the river.

Entire homes, dozens in fact, were surrounded by water and basements and first floors were getting flooded.

Power crews had to turn off power to the areas.

And by mid afternoon boats from all over Trumbull county were being used to get people out of their homes and onto dry land.

Tina Decker, who is nine months pregnant had to be rescued.  "I didn't want to go at first didn't have any of my stuff but had to get out of there. It's a lot of stress and my parents said don't stress out about it so I had to get out and do what I had to do."

The woman's mother, Belinda Decker says "She just had a baby shower Sunday all her baby stuff is brand new it's in the second level of the basement and we're worried all of her baby stuff is going to get ruined now. everybody's out now that's all that matters everybody is safe."

Some residents who have lived through several floods here before say they have no plans to leave.

some people who did evacuate early later used canoes to rescue their pets they couldn't reach before hand.

There were no reports of any injuries but the damage here will be significant. Residents say it's worse than the last flood which took place ten years ago in 2003.

Waters are expected to fall below flood stage late Friday, and when people return to their homes, that's when the real tragedy of the situation sets in.

Debbie Dillon says there will be "Mud everywhere things ruined furnaces all that kind of stuff it's devastating. There are people who live here who don't have basements so they lose everything they have so it's sad."

A number of people were concerned because they heard that more water was being released at the Lake Milton Dam.

21 News contacted the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers in Pittsburgh and spoke with the person in charge of water management at Lake Milton.

"It is absolutely not correct that we would be releasing in a way that would add to the uncontrolled run off. In other words we will postpone any release until, not only is the river falling, but it falls back below flood stage," says Lewis Kwett of Water Management.

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