Heavy rain threatens Solon sewer plant, closes roads
SOLON– Residents of Solon continued to sandbag Wednesday evening as rapidly rising waters closed in on the city’s sewage plant.
But by Thursday morning, things were looking up.
Solon Public Works Director Scott Kleppe reported Mill Creek had withdrawn to its banks after being as close as 3 feet from a building at the wastewater treatment facility.
Severe thunderstorms with driving winds dumped as much as 8 inches of rain on the Solon area Wednesday and early Thursday. By mid-afternoon, Randall Park was submerged by a swollen Mill Creek. The city’s wastewater treatment facility, located across the creek from the park, was cut-off by rising water, and residences were experiencing water infiltration from heavy volumes of groundwater.
Kleppe announced Wednesday morning that homes on Marshek Court and Duchess Drive in Solon had reported flash flooding and were seeking assistance.
Kleppe said he placed a call to Johnson County Emergency Management requesting sandbags for the residences.
Residents, public officials and public safety officers filled sandbags at the public works facility from morning into the evening, with additional truckloads of sand brought in from North Liberty.
“I helped with filling sandbags Wednesday night and I was very impressed by the number of people who showed up,” said Solon resident Josh Drum “But more specifically I was impressed with how many high schoolers were there. I know they were there “because it seemed like fun” but the fact that our community students see an activity like this as “fun” says great things about Solon and our people.”
As the day progressed, Mill Creek began growing, overtaking Randall Park and closing in on the wastewater treatment facility.
Trucks loaded with sandbags drove through the high waters to the treatment plant where more volunteers, mostly high school students, were waiting to barricade several buildings.
At 6 p.m. Wednesday, Kleppe reported the city facility was holding its own, although the plant continued to operate at capacity. He said, “(the water was) the absolute highest I’ve ever seen it.” An industrial-grade portable pump was on-hand if needed.
Report damage to county
In response to the storm damage throughout Johnson County on April 17, Johnson County Emergency Management issued a county emergency disaster declaration which allows county resources to be used by communities in Johnson County.
Residents who have experienced storm damage to their property– homes as well as businesses– are encouraged to submit their damage reports to Johnson County through the county website at http://www.johnson-county.com/dept_emergency.aspx?id=11392. State and federal authorities use data regarding damage to public and private property to determine whether an area qualifies for certain forms of assistance.
Please contact Dave Wilson, Johnson County Emergency Management Coordinator, with any questions regarding this process at 319-356-6700.
Johnson County has posted a map and list on its website giving residents information about flood-related road closures. A link to the map and list is available through the news section of the home page at www.johnson-county.com or at http://www.johnson-county.com/dept_emergency.aspx?id=12978.