Area mopping up after storm; estimated $3 million in damage to Holy Family

By Jeff Saunders | Stow Sentry Published:

After Monday's storm, local officials and property owners are cleaning up the damage.

In Stow, early reports indicate that much of the damage was located in the area around the S.R. 91 and S.R. 59 intersection. This includes at Holy Family Parish, where both Holy Family School's first floor and the church basement were inundated.

"I think it may go over $3 million," Parish Operations Manager Rich Malecky said about the damage. He said he believes insurance through the Cleveland Catholic Diocese will cover most of the costs.

Malecky said that for now, the parish is concentrating on getting the school cleaned up and then it will turn its attention to the church basement.

"We're hoping to have (the school reopened) on Monday," he said. "Not completely repaired, but functioning."

The K-8 Catholic school was closed Tuesday and likely will be for the rest of the week, Malecky said. He said that as much as 6 feet of water and sewage flooded the lower church hall in the basement with a force that "blew out the windows" and took tables and storage cabinets down the length of the hall, a distance of about 125 feet. Principal Sharon Fournier said that the school's first floor, which is at a higher elevation, had about 4 to 6 inches flow through it.

Parish Business Manager Ed Coia said after the parish was hit by flooding in 2003, which affected the church basement but not the school, steps were taken improve drainage to a parking lot. However, he said, the measures were primarily designed to mitigate flooding from S.R. 59 to the south, where the waters came from in 2003. This time, he said, the water came down from the north and overwhelmed mounding on that side.

Stow Mayor Sara Drew said a wall at Marhofer Chevrolet at the intersection collapsed. She also said there were mud slides at the Silver Lake Condominium complex on S.R. 59 near Holy Family, which covered the parking lot with mud.

"They're actually using snowplows to clean up the mud," she said.

Munroe Falls Mayor Frank Larson said that on Hiwood Drive, there was a sanitary sewer backup. The Summit County Department of Environmental Services came out late at night, he said, and pumped out the sewer lines into the street.

"By the time they did that, people's basements had 6, 7 feet of water and sewage in them," he said.

North River Road, near the border with Stow where the road dips down, washed out, said Larson, and a large sinkhole developed on Wilbur Drive, off of North River "that took out about half the road."

Steeplechase Lane was also flooded for about 30 minutes last night and back yards on North Moreland Avenue also flooded.

"We've had quite a lot of people call in about flood damage," said Larson.

Larson said a creek that flows through the residential area around Steeplechase and North Moreland overflowed its banks, with the waters coming up over a bridge that crosses the creek between Guise Park and the City Hall on Munroe Falls Avenue.SClB

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