Flash flood strands drivers and floods a campus area bar

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — As a tremendous rainstorm swept through downtown Columbus during the afternoon, High Street near OSU’s campus had a flash-flood, stranding vehicles and drivers and flooding out one popular bar.

The water came up and receded just as fast, but the damage was done. Nearly two feet of water  stood on High Street, right across from the student Union and employees at the Midway On High bar said it was much deeper inside.

Pictures show flooded vehicles with drivers sitting on the roof and hood, and a bar temporarily put out of business on a busy Memorial Weekend.

“We barricaded the door, but the water just pushed it open, and all this water flooded in and we honestly had no idea what to do,” said Jameal Gwynn, who works in the Midway.

He said as tons of water poured down the stairs into the bar they tried to stem the tide. “We tried to hold the door closed, but it was too powerful.”

He said he could not believe what he was witnessing when he walked out to High Street.

“There were cars abandoned, there were people sitting on top of the cars with their engines flooded, it was crazy,” Gwynn said.

He said they quickly realized they were fighting a losing battle.

“Once we notice that was flooding we tried to shut it and that didn’t help and we had about you can see on my pants how high the water was and we still have some flooding going on here,” said Cassie Kahr, she also works at the Midway.

After the flooded street receded the employees started a bucket brigade to clear water from the bar and stairwell.

Kahr kept her sense of humor as she helped clean up the mud and water.

“It was pretty overwhelming, usually we would want customers to pour in the door, but I don’t think that is going to happen today,” she said.

NBC4’s Ben Gelber said the area got 1 to 1.5 inches of rain in a 30 minute time frame, overwhelming storm sewers. The Midway sits on a low section of High Street and that caused rain to pool in the area too.

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