No flooding, despite weekend worries

By Jason Hawk -

Instead of five inches of rain, Tropical Storm Gordon brought less than two to our neck of the woods.

That’s a relief — alerts for Lorain County heading into this past weekend had called for two to five inches, with up to seven in some areas, and warned of possible flooding.

About a quarter inch fell Saturday, followed by 1.5 inches Sunday, said Emergency Management Agency director Tom Kelley. A tiny amount — little more than an eighth of an inch — fell between midnight and 2 p.m. Monday.

More rain fell in the southern part of the county. The squall line was sharply defined Sunday between US 20 and Rt. 113, Kelley said.

But other than a couple of minor power outages, there were no problems.

In Amherst, utilities director Ron Merthe had been worried about what torrential rainfall would do. He was relieved Monday.

Gordon’s dying gasps weren’t even enough for a real test of the recently-completed Lincoln Street storm sewer, which was built specifically to stop flooding from so-called 100-year storms.

A cold, steady drizzle spread out the accumulation enough that it wet the ground but basements remained dry and there was no surface flooding at all: “Thank God, because everyone was panicking,” Merthe told us.

There was one pump station alarm caused by garbage, but he said that’s “normal weekend stuff for us.”

Now eyes are on the next potential threat as Hurricane Florence barrels toward the East Coast.

As of this writing, it’s expected to make landfall as a category four hurricane in Georgia, the Carolinas, or Virginia. Its trajectory is likely to bring heavy rains our way.

Behind Florence are two other powerful storms in the Atlantic.

Tropical Storm Isaac is nearly hurricane strength and moving toward the Caribbean, while Hurricane Helene off the African coast is expected to swing north into open water without harming the Americas.

Jason Hawk can be reached at 440-775-1611 or @EditorHawk on Twitter.

By Jason Hawk