Trumbull commissioners declare state of emergency as flood-damage estimates reach $3.5 million

By Ed Runyan


The race is on to provide a temporary and then permanent fix to get about 55 people back into their homes near Kinsman Lake after a causeway washed out Saturday morning.

The rain-induced washout eliminated the only road in and out of the Lakelands neighborhood and damaged homes.

Trumbull County commissioners signed a resolution Tuesday declaring a state of emergency because of the flood damage. The declaration will be sent to Gov. Mike DeWine and the Ohio Emergency Management Agency in hopes it will lead to financial assistance for repairs.

County Engineer Randy Smith said the damage to roads and bridges from Saturday’s storm is $3.5 million, including Kinsman Lake.

State Sen. Sean O’Brien of Bazetta, D-32nd, said $1 million would provide a base for the dam’s earthen embankment and a way for the 55 residents to return to their homes in the near term. The final work will be added to that base, O’Brien said.

First responders evacuated 55 people from 21 homes Saturday using off-road vehicles. In addition to having no way out, the power went off in the neighborhood. Most of the residents are believed to have gone to stay with relatives.

O’Brien said Tuesday he continues to work with state officials to get secure funding for the repairs. A number of officials will meet today with U.S. Rep. Dave Joyce, a Republican from Geauga County who represents Kinsman and other northern-tier areas of the county.

Residents of Kinsman, Gustavus and Greene townships who experienced damage Saturday are asked to call the 211 Call Network of Northern Ohio and report it.

Meanwhile, Linda Beil, Trumbull Emergency Management Association director, said that even though Trumbull was among 63 counties DeWine declared in a state of emergency because of flood-related road and bridge damage in June, the designation will not affect the county.

“They put us on that list, but we don’t have anything,” Beil said of June flood damage.