Clean-up in progress in West Lafayette

| June 26, 2019

WEST LAFAYETTE – After West Lafayette was hit with the biggest disaster that has been seen in the village in many decades, the community came together to lend a helping hand to those who were affected by the flood in the days that followed.

“The last four days, it has been really solid,” said Mayor Stephen Bordenkircher. “We are starting to scale back today (Tuesday) and we’ve been through all 30-some dumpsters now. Our plan is to keep one of them available through the week with the clean-up. Our major concern is cost.”

Lity Scrap Services and Kimble Recycling and Disposal provided dumpsters. Lity Scrap Yard covered the cost of 13 dumpsters. One dumpster was paid for by Jones Metal and the other was paid for by the village.

“We’re hoping that someone comes forward to help cover the cost of the rest of the dumpsters or else the village will have to absorb that cost,” said Bordenkircher.

At their Wednesday, June 26 meeting, the Coshocton County Commissioners pledged to cover the cost of the remaining dumpsters.

“We’ve had folks who are just coming home from being on vacation and they’re finding their homes flooded,” said Bordenkircher. “It has truly been a disaster.”

Originally, 10 homes in the village had been deemed unsafe and would likely have to be condemned. However, after an assessment by a structural engineer, all homes appear to be repairable. Bordenkircher said that approximately 200 homes were affected by the flood.

Only certain parts of the village were affected by the flood which includes Lafayette Mills Apartment Complex, which has 40 units; some residents in the 600 block of Russell Avenue; the eastern ends of Fifth, Sixth, and Seventh Streets; the southern part of Wall Street and Johnson Road; and SR 751 by Schumaker Farms.

The storm that hit the area on Monday, June 24 didn’t help. With tornado warnings and more strong storms predicted to strike, the village had several trees blown down and more high water, about five to six inches. Thankfully, that water quickly dissipated.

“I can’t be thankful enough for the people,” said Bordenkircher. “There were baseball teams and football teams out on Saturday and Sunday and Mr. Masloski (superintendent of Ridgewood Schools) was out unloading trucks for four days. We had Eight Days of Hope here and they brought dehumidifiers and fans. NewPointe Church donated shockwave treatments for mold issues. The support has just been overwhelming.”

The mayor hopes to set up a committee separate from village council that can be a voice for local government in the community when disasters such as this happens.

“It was very difficult to meet everyone’s expectations,” said Bordenkircher. “The village administrator and his staff were out taking care of things and that left the mayor and administration to have meetings and take care of things behind the scenes. People expected us to go door-to-door and we just didn’t have the staff. We did a lot of things right. We know we can improve, but we did a lot of things right. There were a lot of lessons learned and we had a disaster plan, but nothing like this.”

Bordenkircher also said that about two percent or less of people affected have flood insurance.

“If you’re a prayerful person, take a knee,” said Bordenkircher. “Thank you to all these people. The list of people who need to be thanked is tremendous.”

Bordenkircher said that currently, the West Lafayette Homecoming scheduled for July 25 – 27 will go on as planned.

“The community needs it,” said Bordenkircher. “They need to get out and start having normal lives. Some estimates say that it will be as late as Thanksgiving before we get back to normal. It’s going to be a long process.”

Tags: ,

Category: Government

About the Author ()

I have been employed at the Coshocton County Beacon since September 2009 as a news reporter and assistant graphic artist. I am a 2004 graduate of Newcomerstown High School and a 2008 graduate of Capital University with a bachelor’s degree in Professional Writing. I am married to John Scott and live in Newcomerstown. We have two beautiful daughters, Amelia Grace Scott and Leanna Rose Scott.

Comments are closed.