OTTAWA — The Blanchard River floodwaters had receded from most of the village streets by Monday, which allowed township maintenance workers and west side home and business owners to begin cleaning up.
The waters began receding Saturday evening, said Public Works Supervisor Dan Lehman, and village cleanup began then. There wasn’t any damage to the village, he said. State Route 65 was open by 10 a.m. Sunday and U.S. Route 224 West was opened at 3 a.m. Monday, Lehman said. The remaining closed roads were expected to be opened later Monday.
“There was very little debris left behind this time compared to the past,” Lehman said.
Ottawa Public Works follows a specific pattern when they clean the village after a flood.
“We broom the roads off with a power broom and go over them with a street sweeper,” Lehman said. “If there are logs or trees left behind we pull them out to our brush pile.”
They don’t aid in residential cleanup though unless a state of emergency is declared, he said.
Lack of village assistance while cleaning up doesn’t sit well with Jeff Hyman, of North Perry Street. Hyman’s garage was flooded with about a foot and a half of water over the weekend ruining a bunch of belongings stored there, he said.
Hyman asked a township employee who had stopped to talk to him at around 11 a.m. if they would be assisting in cleanup, he said, adding the employee had said no.
“As far as they’re concerned from 65 on down to here [the west side] doesn’t exist,” Hyman said as he dragged waterlogged belongings out to the curb. “I’m in my 60s and in poor health but it has to be done.”
Tony and Tim Imm’s Huggin’s Auto Parts store had a foot of water in it when the waters receded, Tony Imm said.
“We spent [Sunday] from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. cleaning up with a bunch of people helping,” he said.
None of the merchandise was damaged though because they have a box truck and conveyor belt on hand to move everything out of the store when there’s news of floodwaters reaching 26.33 feet or higher, Tim Imm said.
“We talked to a guy with the village who said if it were not for the work on the I-9 bridge things would have been worse,” he said.
Reach Bryan Reynolds 567-242-0362.