ODNR storm preparation questioned after flooding around Buckeye Lake

BUCKEYE LAKE (WCMH) — Four days after a torrential downpour caused flooding across Central Ohio, From and residents living near Buckeye Lake are questioning the storm preparation of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.

“Neighbors were screaming, the place was flooding out. Water was clear up to my knees,” said Buckeye Lake resident, George Beaugh.

George Beaugh and his girlfriend Kathy Burnsworth’s apartment is in uninhabitable following Thursday’s storm.

“It was sickening, they should get better drainage system,” said Beaugh.

In a statement, ODNR said there is nothing they could have done for what Mother Nature caused.

For those who experienced damaged or lost property during last week’s rain event, this is a very difficult time and our thoughts are with them.

As for the nature of the high water event that took place, the storm unleashed more than 5 inches of rain on the area which triggered natural flooding to occur. ODNR opened the lake drains at Buckeye Lake two days in advance of the storm to create more storage capacity within the lake. Even with that advanced preparation, the water levels in the lake reached more than two feet above the targeted interim levels that are currently being maintained during construction of the new dam.

Water flowing over the spillway is by design as it protects the lake water from overflowing its banks and flooding the residents of Buckeye Lake Village.

George Abdalla has lived on the lake for more than 70 years. He says ODNR shouldn’t be blamed for the flooding. It wasn’t just the lake that overflowed but heavy rain caused the drains on the side of the roads to clog, adding to the flooding.

“I feel like they opened and did the correct amount of planning. It was again just the hard pounding of the water,” said Abdalla.

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