Midwestern Flood Victims Tally Damage

Waterlogged Midwest residents began tallying up the damage estimated in the tens of millions of dollars after the weekend's deadly flash floods killed 25 people.

In Findlay, Ohio, the floodwaters have made it difficult to tell where Main Street begins and the Blanchard River ends. Canoes and kayaks replaced cars as the preferred mode of transportation, as they were the only way to get around town.

"I've lived here a total of 10 years, and the most it's ever got is up towards the city buildings. It's never flooded this bad," said resident Carl Anderson.

The town is one example of the flooding troubles experienced in many areas of Ohio.

The area received more than seven inches of rain in a month, creating the worst flooding in nearly a century. At least 500 people fled their homes and some are staying in shelters.

The soaking rains have been particularly difficult for residents who weren't prepared financially.

"Myself and my neighbors do not have flood insurance," said Doris Schumacher, the owner of DorAnne's Gifts & Gourmet.

Schumacher spent the day pumping out water and trying to salvage any remainders of her Main Street gift shop.

State of Emergency

Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland declared a state of emergency in nine counties.

"We flew in by helicopter and as we passed over the city," Strickland said. "You could see every home was under water to some extent."

The weather plaguing the nation's Midwest and Plains was the product of two weather systems, one that spans the upper Midwest and the other that is the remnants of stubborn Tropical Storm Erin.

"It's been somewhat persistent now since the weekend, and we really don't see a change in this for at least the next few days," said Dan Luna of the National Weather Service.

One Family's Story

The water troubles haven't been limited to Ohio. From Oklahoma to Minnesota, rainfall records were shattered this weekend.

In Iowa one family struggled to understand its loss.

"How did we live? How did we come out of it," Sharon Partington asked after getting a first look at everything she and her husband had lost.

Partington and her 9-year-old grandson Austin were inside their house when the rain-soaked hill above them gave way in a matter of seconds.

"I heard the roar," Partington said. "A wall of mud came like a tidal wave and I saw the glass go 'whew' right in. I turned and the force of something threw me."

Once she realized she was alive, Partington heard her grandson's screaming.

"I just yelled, 'Stay there. Stay there. Grandma's coming,'" she said. "And I crawled out under the glass."

Her husband, Lynn Partington, was at a neighbor's house and watched in horror as the hill came down. He rushed to their rescue.

"It was just like a dollhouse being kicked down or being blown over," he said. "My first thought was, 'Nobody could survive that.'"

Compounding the family's trauma was the fact it seems none of their belongings is covered by insurance.

"We talked to them repeatedly, and they said there is no coverage for landslides," Sharon Partington said.

The retired teachers helped build much of their dream home themselves and they said the avalanche spared what was most important.

"We're alive. We're alive," Sharon Partington said.

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