Stow leaders continue taking steps to address flooding issues

City officials say recent projects have made a difference, but more work needed

Laura Freeman
Kent Weeklies
Pebblehurst Drive in Stow flooded on Labor Day.

STOW – After heavy rains on Labor Day closed a couple of roads and flooded about a dozen homes, the city is reviewing feedback from homeowners and looking at solutions. 

Mayor John Pribonic, Chief of Staff Nicholas Wren and other staff members were out before the storm hit and during the weather event to assess problem areas.

The extra money in the water bills that residents pay has gone toward stormwater projects the past few years, Pribonic said.

Stormwater projects on Oak Road and Wetmore Street near Holy Family made a big difference, Wren said.

A 48-inch corrugated metal pipe which runs through the Holy Family church parking lot was replaced with a 60-inch high performance plastic pipe, said Mike Jones, deputy city engineer. Also, at Oak Road a 36-inch HP plastic pipe was installed. 

Greentree Road is being addressed this fall, Wren said.

The existing 48-inch corrugated metal pipe at Greentree Road will be replaced with a 60-inch plastic pipe and extended to the east to allow for additional embankment and storage, Jones said.

Staff pumped water early in the day to prevent flooding, which is a constant problem in the Greentree Road area, Wren said.

“We were happy in the investments we’ve made in stormwater infrastructure in the last few years,” Wren said. “They held up and prevented any widespread flooding.”

The Holy Family and Oak Road areas were dry and the Wetmore Street project operated the way it should, Pribonic said. The city isn’t having the floods it had in the past.

“We’re moving ahead,” Pribonic said. “We’re being proactive rather than reactive.”

The city has fixed past problems and is reaching out to residents to learn about new problems they are experiencing, he said. The city sought information from residents on Facebook, received “excellent feedback” and is following up.

“That’s the only way to know where it’s working and where we have issues,” Pribonic said. “We’re visiting residents to see what occurred and how we can help.”

Arndale Road was closed because of a creek overflow and standing water on the road, Wren said. Pebblehurst Drive was closed because a retention pond overflowed. 

Approximately a dozen homes in Call Farm had flooding in the basement and the cause is being investigated, Wren said.

Call Farm residents had a unique problem and the city is working with them to help find the cause and a solution, Pribonic said. Water seeped up through the floor. Normally drains in the basement are tied to a sump pump. When it overloads, water will seep beneath the foundation and floor and permeate the concrete.

“It looks like condensation but there’s water on the floor,” Pribonic said. “The water table rises and causes it.”

None of the water in the Call Farm basements was from a sanitary sewer, Wren said. It was about 2 to 3 inches of storm water.

“We had the staff check on hot spots,” Wren said. “Nothing was clogged. We kept the crews available to clean up after the storm. The water receded quickly.”

The rain gauge at Fox Den recorded 4 inches of rainfall.

“It was amazing the amount of rain that came down that quickly,” Pribonic said. “We talk about a 100-year storm. We can’t call it that anymore. We’re getting to see more of these heavy storms.”

Stormwater projects have the proper capacity but the city may have to increase the capacity for more storm events, he said. 

“I think we fared well unless you had water in your basement,” Pribonic said.

Residents in Call Farm who had basements flood should contact their insurance agent, Wren said. If the water problem was with city infrastructure, reach out to the city website, stowohio.org, or the mayor’s office at 330-689-2800 and someone will make an assessment of the situation.

In Munroe Falls, Mayor James Armstrong said the city had standing water until the system could absorb it.

Armstrong said he drove around the city Monday night to see if there were any issues but the water system worked.

“We didn’t have to close any roads and water receded as soon as the rain let up,” Armstrong said. “We have not received any calls for damage yet. We were very fortunate.”

During a normal rainfall, any problems go undetected but during a heavy rain, a collapsed pipe or problem with a storm drain is noticed, Armstrong said. Water doesn’t recede.

“We have a creek next to Town Hall,” Armstrong said. “It was high but didn’t overflow.”

Gannett reporter Laura Freeman can be reached at lfreeman@recordpub.com