POMEROY — “What I’ve been fighting for is gone...I’ve lost everything now,” Sherman Hoschar, resident of Oak Street told Pomeroy Village Council this week when relaying the damage a flash flood had done to his home on Saturday.
Sherman and his wife Terri have been attending Pomeroy Village Council meetings for months now, discussing the flash flooding that has been plaguing their property in the Monkey Run area since last May. When it rains, the Hoschars experience a lake develop on their property with water getting into an adjacent trailer and garage they own, damaging thousands of dollars worth of equipment.
The Hoschars have homeowners insurance but not flood insurance - technically, they don’t live in a flood plain. The Hoschars also told council flash flooding in the area didn’t occur until dirt from the construction of the Bridge of Honor was dumped on to the Monkey Run ball field. A spokesperson with the Ohio Department of Transportation, District 10, told The Daily Sentinel the Village of Pomeroy requested the dirt be dumped in Monkey Run and this request should be part of the village council meeting minutes - this hasn’t been proved or disproved.
“The ball diamond acted as a holding pond,” Terri told council, adding she felt no one listened to residents when they spoke up about the dumping of dirt possibly causing flooding problems in the area.
This past weekend was particularly costly for the Hoschars who were out of town when nearly three inches of rain hit Pomeroy on Saturday. The Hoschars said they lost a tractor, their daughter’s mini-bike, a new power washer and other items. They said if it weren’t for Chief Mark Proffitt wading into waste-deep water to move their dumptruck, they would’ve lost that too. The Hoschars are estimating they have sustained property losses in the amount of $25-30,000 since the flooding began last May - this doesn’t include the extensive cleanup costs.
Recently, the village discovered a sandstone culvert under the area of McDonalds and Taco Bell had collapsed - this obviously could be contributing to the problem but whether or not it is the cause remains to be seen. Village officials are supposed to meet with Federal Emergency Management Agency Officials on Friday about funding to fix the culvert - a project which Village Administrator Paul Hellman says could cost $375,000. Hellman also said even if the culvert is fixed, the Hoschars will likely still experience some flooding because village workers have discovered another culvert closer to the Hoschar’s property has collapsed - he guessed this repair project could cost in the area of $275,000. Councilwoman Ruth Spaun also asked Hellman to inquire about FEMA money to cover some of the Hoschar’s property losses with Hellman saying it was already his intention to find out information about reimbursement for the family.
To say the Hoschars were frustrated at the continued lack of a timeline to fix the problem or where the buck rests in the situation, was an understatement. Terri said she felt the village didn’t care about the problem though Mayor John Musser disagreed, saying the village had been and would continue to attempt to secure the funds to take care of the collapsed culvert near Ohio 833.