The Day After

The Watson family on Barnes Road in Sheffield was inundated by fast-moving floodwaters after Wednesday’s storm.

On Thursday, Kim Watson said, “I have mud throughout my house. Everything is mud, mud under the flooring, the carpet, everywhere. We will have to tear out a new wood floor that we just put in.”

The house is in a flood plain along Two Mile Run, a normally placid trout stream that runs parallel to Route 6 east of Sheffield.

The Watsons do not have flood insurance.

“I’ve lived here for 25 years, and I’ve never seen anything like this. It looks like a tornado hit,” she said. “I’ve put everything I had into making our home beautiful.”

While there are other buildings across a bridge near their house, they are on higher ground.

The Watson home is the only one in the valley, she said.

A lawn tractor in the yard was completely under water, and the water was up to the top of a large trampoline farther away, she said, adding that fencing was knocked down and stones from the driveway were deposited in the garage and the front porch was torn up and moved.

She explained that the single-floor house, which at one time was a camp, has a small crawl space underneath it. The flooring is completely insulated, and it looks like the insulation will have to be replaced.

Watson is also worried about mold. “My grandchildren are here during the day, and my husband has a heart condition,” she said.

“What am I going to do? Where do I start?” she asked. “I might have to tear down the house and start over.”

She was also worried that if they needed a place to stay, she has three dogs, a cat and fish. “Nobody’s going to want to house us with animals,” she said.

Scott Rose, deputy public safety director for the county, said they have been assessing damages and Watson’s house is the only one in Warren County that had water inside from the flooding.

Regarding the chances of being designated a disaster area, he said damage in surrounding counties was worse than in Warren. “We are still in the process of getting damage assessments, then we will get everything together and send it to FEMA (the Federal Emergency Management Agency), but I really can’t see it happening.

During a phone call later Wednesday, Watson told the Times Observer that a representative from the Red Cross visited and was looking at the damages. She was unsure of what the organization would be able to do to help.