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Fairfax couple hopeful for home buy out after horrible flooding
FAIRFAX, Ohio (Rich Jaffe) -- Imagine fearing that every time it rains your home will be flooded with sewage and runoff. What used to be your piece of the American Dream is now a rotting ruin from which you can't get away.
The possibility of a wet week here in the tri-state brings nothing but fear and frustration to a Fairfax couple that has been battling flood water in their home for the last 13 years.
The home sits on a section of Simpson Avenue along Little Duck Creek, and Monday the homeowners will make a last ditch plea for help to their village council.
That side of Simpson Avenue looks like a park. There is a lot of wide, open greenspace, but it's a really ugly memory because two people died here.
Right across the street where Mike and Renee Bohlen live, it's hardly a park; in fact, it's another tragedy waiting to happen.
Mike and Renee keep a kayak in their garage and little else. That's because they know when their home floods as frequently as it does, they may need to use the kayak to get to safety, as absurd as it sounds.
The last flood was just over two weeks ago.
"This most recent event in May, it happened in 20 minutes. We were at work, our neighbors called us. By the time we got home, we had the fire truck and firemen in our garage. What do you do?" explains Mike.
"We had about four feet this time; that's the average," Renee says.
That's about up to her shoulders.
When Little Duck Creek floods, it backs up through storm and sewer drains. Some of which are right in front of the Bohlens' home. The water and sewage runs down the driveway and blasts into their garage and basement.
The Bohlens figure they have been flooded out at least 10 times since 2001. That's when neighbors Ron and Anna Davenport drowned in the basement of their home, right across the street.
That home as well as five others have been leveled. So has the home right behind the Bohlens'.
"It's so terribly frustrating and demoralizing. It's just sad. I just hope and pray that we and all of our neighbors can get out of here before anybody else dies. It has to be made a priority. Thirteen years is just too long," says Mike.
It's important to point out the water that floods this home wasn't an issue before people bought the homes in this area. According to the Corps of Engineers, development and run off above this area is responsible for the flooding problem.
Monday night at 7:30, the Bohlens will try once again to convince the Fairfax Village Council that they desperately need state, local and federal help in the form of a buy out.
They say they've never been approached with such an offer in Fairfax.
Fairfax Village Administrator Jennifer Kaminer says that from now through July 25, there is a window of opportunity for communities to apply for federal FEMA money, the kind that could help the Bohlens and others.
She says that the village does intend to make that application.
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