Heavy rains caused widespread flooding in the Van Wert area in May. (DHI Media file photo)
Heavy rains caused widespread flooding in the Van Wert area in May. (DHI Media file photo)

VAN WERT – The area was hit hard in May after heavy rains caused major flooding throughout the area.

Van Wert was placed under a state of emergency after Town Creek began spilling over. Van Wert County EMA Director Rick McCoy urged citizens to follow road signs as roads became increasingly dangerous to travel through.

As the flooding terrorized the city, citizens came together to help where needed. Central Mutual Insurance was surrounded by water on all sides, and the began to pour into the building, causing thousands of dollars in damage. But that didn’t stop the employees from trying to help in anyway they could.

Volunteers and employees rolled up their sleeves to fill sandbags outside of Central Mutual Insurance in an effort to stop the flooding water from continuing to enter the building.

Neighboring businesses such as the Emmanuel Lutheran Church, and Alspach-Gearhart and Cowan and Sons funeral homes allowed employees and volunteers to park in their lots as they continued to try to stop the water.

At the Brumback Library, the community rallied together to help take books from the children’s section in the basement to higher levels. Then, days later, when the flooding was no longer a threat, the community showed back up to the library to put the books back into the basement.

The flooding did cause damage though. Central had extensive damage to the ground floor closest to the creek. Their commons area and break room was affected.

Also affected was Willow Bend. Willow Bend’s lower level was damaged and several golf carts saw damage.

At the time, McCoy stated that many area farmers with six-inch rain gauges reported that their gauges were running over. McCoy believes that the area saw between five and eight inches of rain.

Other affected areas included Wren, which saw a heavy amount of flooding. Several businesses saw damage there as well.