RITTMAN, Ohio - Stormy skies over one Northeast Ohio city are creating serious concerns for several homeowners. Residents are finding that their basements and yards which have not normally been impacted by heavy rain are suddenly prone to flooding.
Crews in Rittman are scrambling to find out why water that normally flows below ground is now reaching the surface. It's the big question city leaders in the small community are desperately trying to answer.
"Just water coming right out of the sewer,” said Randy Minor.
Minor has lived on Sterling Avenue in Rittman for nearly 30 years.
"There's too much water. The city can't handle that much water,” Minor said.
Now more than ever before, Minor has watched as water from the sanitary sewer in front of his house ended up in his basement. And he's not alone.
"We're just as concerned as the residents are,” said Derek Feuerstein, Rittman city manager.
More than a dozen homes in the neighborhood started regularly flooding within just the last few months.
"There's a variable out there that's causing this and we don't know what it is,” said Feuerstein.
Feuerstein tells News 5 that an initial check of the storm system came up clear. They're waiting to see if there are any cracks or blockage in the sanitary lines.
"We want to make sure we solve it in a correct way and not just throw some money at it,” Feuerstein said.
Minor told News 5 he was not content with how the city is handling this ongoing issue.
The long-time Rittman resident would like to see a new drainage system put in that can handle the runoff.
Right now, the city is hiring an engineer that specializes in stormwater to try determining the source.
Meanwhile, homeowners like minor are learning to live with this continuous flooding.
"You've got to know that you got stuff in your basement you keep it off the ground," said Minor.
Feuerstein said he is trying to get a grant to redo Sterling Avenue, which he believes could help ease the severity of the flooding.