Huber flooding rescuers: “We’ll talk about it for years”

HUBER HEIGHTS, Ohio (WDTN) – “Better safe than sorry,” according to ODOT engineer Josh Bowman. The Ohio Department of Transportation says it will be weeks before State Route 202 is open where Miami and Montgomery Counties meet.  ODOT closed the bridge near the Carriage Trails development due to a sinkhole caused by the heavy rain.  The pipe under the bridge collapsed and took with it what was on top of it.

Josh Bowman, ODOT engineer, told 2 NEWS, “It’s going have to happen inevitably.  We can’t sit out here and flag traffic unfortunately 24 hours a day.”

“That rain event is something we’ll be talking about for years and years to come,” said Bowman.

Mark Ashworth, Huber Heights Fire Chief, feels the same way.  He told 2 NEWS his department worked non-stop from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m.  He said, “We were immediately zapped.  We had no staffing left.  We had to recall people in and it takes a good 10 to 20 minutes to come from home.  Then also we had personnel who were dealing with their own flooding issues.”

A team of four firefighters took a rescue boat into three counties.  They helped rescue a man in New Carlisle and tenants of Laynecrest Manor Apartments in Bethel Township, Clark County.  The chief said Huber Heights did not have to get people out of cars on Interstate 70 because a private ambulance company had taken care of that.

Rescue boats put to the test during flooding in Huber Heights.  (WDTN Photo)
Rescue boats put to the test during flooding in Huber Heights. (WDTN Photo)

Chief Ashworth is asking residents near bridges that have been washed away to let the fire department know if they have an emergency and need help because firefighters will have to work around the damaged areas.

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