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Clean up starts in Port Clinton after weekend flooding

Port Clinton cleanup
Posted at 3:47 PM, May 31, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-31 18:27:53-04

PORT CLINTON, Ohio  — Clean up after weekend flooding started on Monday in Port Clinton.

The flooding, high winds, and heavy rains before the Memorial Day holiday canceled the town's annual Walleye Festival.

"It always seems to rain one day on Walleye Festival weekend but, usually, we can salvage the weekend. But this one was just too much," said Jodi Regal.

Regal and her husband, Dave, were out at the city park on the lakeshore Monday morning.

Jodi Regal is a former Ottawa County Commissioner and Dave Regal is retired from the sheriff's department.

The couple said public service is in their blood which is why they said yes to helping clear up the debris.

"We worked at some of the COVID vaccine clinics, and that group sent out a group email wanting to know if people would volunteer to help," Dave Regal said. "We sent a response back right away and said we would help. So here we are."

There were about 10 people in the citizen clean-up crew. They spent about 90 minutes carrying the twisted metal skeletons and torn covers of deserted vendor booths to a pile for pick up.

"They had a professional cleaning crew come in. They've been working for 36 hours I understand. So, they had a lot of this cleaned up," Regal said.

This was the second year the Walleye Festival was cannceled in Port Clinton. In 2020, the pandemic shuttered the fun. This year, the weather stopped the official summer kick-off from happening.

In a lakeside town, the summer season is key for revenue. Memorial Day, often seen as the kickoff to summer, is a chance for the town to bring in money from tourism. With the festival stopped two years in a row, the Regals are looking to 2022 as a chance to get things back on track.

"They're starting to bounce back," Jodi Regal said of the county.

"We're hoping next year will be good and things will go well for them," said Dave Regal.