HAYDENVILLE — After natural disasters occur it can take a while to get back on your feet and into living a normal life again, which is exactly what some of the folks in the area of Haydenville are still experiencing.
On June 21, 2018, the National Weather Service reported roughly four inches if rain fell within a short two hours. This caused a tremendous amount of flooding in the area, so much that residents had to be rescued from their homes.
The floodgates opened and rose several feet within a short hour, which caused state Route 595, state Route 328, state Route 278, Hocking Road, Maysville-Williams Road and Green Drive to be closed.
One of those rescuers was Logan Fire Department Chief Brian Robertson, who said the flooding was unlike anything he had experienced in his 28 years of service.
“We were walking in water down Hocking Drive to get people, and the water was swift enough, it was almost taking our feet out from underneath of us,” remarked Robertson.
Rescues were performed on foot and by boat by community members as well. The Fire Department had the help of multiple Ohio Department of Natural Resources rescue trailers from around Ohio, as well as some individuals with personal boats.
Immediately after the floodwaters began to recede, safely allowing folks to return to the area, the Hocking County Emergency Management Agency began sending teams out to assess the damage to homes.
The Red Cross provided direct financial assistance to 42 individuals who resided in the 16 homes destroyed or had major damage as a result of the storm. Rod Cook, executive director of East and South Central Ohio Chapter of the American Red Cross, estimated a total of $5,290 was given for immediate food and clothing purchases.
Lots of locals donated their time or financially to the community in the aftermath. Steve Good with Good Builders donated time to help repair homes that were damaged. Tim Cordle, owner of Logan Welding, said he and his team helped a lot with rebuilding or restoring homes in the area as well.
Also, Jason Brooks, President and CEO of Rocky Brands, presented a check to eight of the families affected by the flooding along with dumpsters to be placed on state Route 595 and Green Drive for residents to use.
Brooks said he felt the victims’ pain and loss while presenting the check shortly after the flood. Although, he noted checks don’t replace the homes and belongings they lost, it could possibly help with temporary housing, food, clothing or whatever is needed by the families.
Green Township Trustees also paid for dumpsters to be placed throughout Green Township and two roll-offs to be set on Hocking Drive.
Janey Saving, the former Executive Director of United Way of Hocking County, received permission from her board of trustees to donate $2,000 to the cause as well.
Additionally, Shawn Fraunfelter with the Out of the Boat Ministries team helped collect donations for the flood victims and has continued to help area residents rebuild.
Out of the Boat Ministries has stuck around aside from the initial aftermath of the flood said three of the residents around Green Drive and state Route 595.
Margie and James Moore live on Green Drive and lost just about everything they worked for, including a truck and car. They built their single-story home together over 60 years ago and they’ve never seen the area flood like it did on June 21, nor do they expect it will happen again.
“Everything was damaged. We had about three and a half to four-feet of water in the house… so everything from four-foot down is new,” explained Margie.
The Moore’s children and friends helped out tremendously and they were able to move back into their home within a short 10 weeks on August 31, 2018.
No one The Logan Daily News spoke with in the area had flood insurance because it’s not considered a flood plain. Therefore, everyone was reliant upon their own funds or donations from volunteers.
Neighbors of the Moore’s, the Barlow’s, lost their car because the water was up to the door handles on their vehicle. The couple is thankful they were able to restore their house because it was holding on by a thread of foundation when they were able to start cleaning up.
“We didn’t get back until about November 20, we were out six months… some friends had a house that was empty and let us stay there… we lived there for six months out of boxes,” shared Tisa Barlow.
The Moore’s were able to salvage most of their pictures, but the Barlow’s were not as lucky; almost everything in their home is brand new. Tisa stated they only had an eighth of a cinder block holding up their house and everything valuable they owned was kept in the basement.
“It was actually like building a brand new home… except for the frame of the house, everything inside and our foundation is all new,” mentioned Tisa.
Margie and Tisa said the water came from the north, it didn’t come from the Hocking River and there are no streams or creeks behind their homes. The water came their way so quickly that within a matter of a half hour it was already up to the top of Margie’s mailbox.
“So I grabbed things out of the safe and the file cabinet and put them up on the bed and the dresser. By the time I grabbed a few things like that it was up to here (pointing to her waist),” expressed Margie.
“My husband said it was about 30 to 40 minutes from start to finish… it’s like something let loose and when it let loose that’s when the floodwaters came,” mentioned Barlow.
Margie and James were rescued by boat because of the heroic act their neighbor of 27-years made, Tisa’s husband. The Moore’s and Barlow’s have been friends since they became neighbors and always watch out for one another.
Across the street from the Moore’s and Barlow’s are the Davis’s who completely lost their home they worked hard to build, paycheck by paycheck roughly 30 years ago.
The couple has been married for 31 years and had their home paid off for less than a year before the flood took it. Murl and Debra Davis now live in a used trailer they purchased with donation money and they’ve added onto it using the wood from their home.
The Davis’s said there was a total of seven-feet and 10 inches of water in their backyard, which lifted their home off its foundation. Out of the Boat Ministries has helped as much as they can — to this day — to help them fix up their place and rebuild, but the Davis’s also don’t have the funds to completely rebuild.
“The thing we have hope for right now is, we have a little bit of money, not much but a little bit,” stated Debra, who hopes to live in a real home again one day.
Quite a few families have picked up and left the area, but those who have stayed have gotten closer than ever as friends. They were acquaintances before the flood, but after such a horrific event, they’ve pulled together and helped each other as much as they can.
“God’s hand was on everything that we did. When we needed something, the right person showed up. I had no idea who they were, but they would pull in our driveway and say, ‘Hey can we help,’” concluded Barlow.