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Cuyahoga County wants resident input on all-hazards mitigation plan

Solving N.E. Ohio flooding issues tops list
Cuyahoga Co. wants resident input on all-hazards mitigation plan
Posted at 10:37 PM, Apr 19, 2022

CLEVELAND — Karen Lakus of Valley View has plenty of hope for the new Cuyahoga County All-Hazards Mitigation Plan currently being crafted, hoping it will be a big step toward solving chronic flooding in her community.

Lakus told News 5 she's pleased Cuyahoga County leaders are inviting resident input on the plan through May 2 and is urging homeowners to get involved by reading the plan and adding their thoughts on how it can be improved.

The plan is required to be revised every five years by the Federal Emergency Management Agency and must be updated so the county can continue to qualify for federal grant money.

Cuyahoga Co. wants resident input on all-hazards mitigation plan
Karen Lakus of Valley View is urging residents to add their input to the Cuyahoga County hazard mitigation plan.

"The Cuyahoga River is still going to flood the area, and if there is some chance that we can get some kind of funding to fix that then we should definitely try to pursue it," Lakus said. “People here have some ideas, so why not talk to us and we can give you some ideas as to what we think. In Valley View, they’re building businesses down the road on Canal Road, so it continues to grow, so why not protect it.”

Mark Christie, Cuyahoga County Emergency Manager, told News 5 the plan breaks the county down into eight regions and makes a reassessment of all things that influence risks. The plan covers more than 20 different hazards, both naturally occurring, like tornadoes, snowstorms and earthquakes, as well as technological hazards, like utility outages, hazmat spills, pandemics and acts of terrorism.

"It allows us to establish strategies to mitigate the impact of those hazards," Christie said. “A planning process like this helps identify those areas, it also helps us seek federal mitigation grant dollars to elevate homes out of flood plain.”

“It will identify changes in risks, things like land use, changes in development, additional critical facilities being added or taken offline.”

David Ritter, Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District Manager of Watershed Technical Support told News 5 the sewer district is helping with the new plan.

Cuyahoga Co. wants resident input on all-hazards mitigation plan
The Cuyahoga All-Hazards Mitigation Plan will address much more than just flooding issues.

“The majority of Cuyahoga County was developed without stormwater management regulations," Ritter said. "At the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District we’re focused on flooding and structural issues caused by erosion or aging infrastructure”

“It would be about $1.3 billion worth of investment that would be needed to address flooding and erosion problems.”

John Corn, Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District Emergency Management and Business Continuity Program Manager said residents can give their input on the plan online or in person at several county locations.

“The more the public gets engaged in the process, the greater opportunity we all have to have a safe more secure environment for our friends and families," Corn said.

Residents who want to view Cuyahoga County 2022 Hazard Mitigation Plan Update can find the plan on this web page. Residents can comment on the plan online by using this link.

Residents can also view and comment on the mitigation plan at the following Cuyahoga County Public Library locations through May 2:

  • Fairview Park: 21255 Lorain Rd, Fairview Park, OH 44126.
  • Independence: 6361 Selig Dr, Independence, OH 44131.
  • Olmsted Falls: 8100 Mapleway Dr, Olmsted Falls, OH 44138.
  • Parma-Snow: 2121 Snow Rd, Parma, OH 44134.
  • Solon: 34125 Portz Pkwy, Solon, OH 44139.
  • South Euclid-Lyndhurst: 1876 S Green Rd, South Euclid, OH 44121.
  • Cleveland Heights-Lee: 2345 Lee Rd, Cleveland Heights, OH 44118.
  • City of Cleveland–Main: 325 Superior Ave, Cleveland, OH 44114.