Heavy rain hits county

Two vehicles struck a downed tree along state Route 7 south, in Middleton Township, during Saturday’s rainstorm. Alicia Connolly of Poland was taken by New Waterford Fire/EMS to St. Elizabeth’s in Boardman after her Geo Tracker struck the tree. Brooke Murphy, 16, of Negley did the same in her Nissan Rogue, although the teenager was not injured. Sgt. Adam Shonk of the Lisbon Post of the State Highway Patrol and New Waterford firefighters responded to the scene. (Photo by Patti Schaeffer)

LISBON — How much rain did Columbiana County get on Saturday?

The amounts may vary, but needless to say it was a lot.

The amount of rainfall received ranged from a 2.55 inches recorded at a measuring station in East Liverpool to a high of 3.25 inches recorded at the Morris farm south of Elkton. Every part of the county appears to have received a minimum 2.5 inches of rainfall, with Salem, Washingtonville and the Negley area joining the Morris farm with readings exceeding 3 inches.

The steady rain that fell all day and into Sunday morning, punctuated by heavy downpours and high winds, resulted in high water along roads in low-lying areas and flooding in other spots. When combined with the downed trees and tree limbs that resulted, road crews, fire departments and other first responders were kept busy, especially after nightfall.

Despite the inclement weather, county Emergency Management Agency Director Peggy Clark said the situation did not result in any major damage or problems significant enough to activate the EMA’s emergency operations center. She said the flooding occurred at the usual places that are the first to flood during heavy rains, such as the roadways through Franklin Square and Elkton, both of which are located along streams.

She said there were also high water warning signs posted at other locations in the western part of the county, which is also normal during heavy rains.

The Little Beaver Creek in Beaver Creek State Park also overflowed its banks, but the water had begun receding Sunday morning.

“It happens,” she said of the storm. “It’s not like we don’t have heavy storms and high winds this time of year in northeast Ohio.”

That is not meant to diminish the dangerous conditions motorists and first responders alike faced. There were at least three instances of drivers crashing into downed trees — on state Route 7 near Midway Motors in Fairfield Township, state Route 164 in Salem Township and state Route 14 in Unity Township. No serious injuries resulted, however.

A woman also had be rescued from her vehicle by EMTs after becoming stranded in high water while trying to drive through Franklin Square.

While 3.25 inches of rain may seem like a lot — and it is — consider the storm of Aug. 28, 2004, dumped between 4-7 inches of rain on the county in a 24-hour period, with the area south of Salem to Lisbon receiving 6-7 inches. This resulted in flash flooding along Mill Site Creek in Lisbon, where eight homes were destroyed, including several that were swept away downstream, and 16 others were severely damaged.