Water-soaked homes line road in Cadogan
Cadogan resident Ralph Cardinal sat on his two-story home's balcony on Thursday, watching his neighbors clean up mud and debris left behind from Wednesday's flash flooding.
Less than 24 hours earlier, rescue crews from Kittanning Hose Co. 6 planned to bring in boats, in an attempt to get Cardinal out of his home, which was surrounded by three feet of water after heavy rains caused a nearby creek to flood. Cardinal refused, opting to stay in his home.
“I was all right, because I knew my house wasn't going to go anywhere,” Cardinal said, with a chuckle. “I had my drink, and was sitting up here — I was in good shape.”
Like many residents of Skinall Road, Cardinal's basement and garage flooded, leaving behind a thick layer of mud and debris. Jody Cardinal hoped to salvage most of the contents, which included his parents' washer and dryer, tools, a refrigerator and a stove.
Although the Cardinal family's furnace was not damaged, the home's hot water tank was not working properly, though Jody Cardinal thought it could be repaired.
“We're just trying to weed everything out,” Jody Cardinal said. “We have to see what we can save, and what we have to throw out — now we just need to find a place to dump all the garbage.”
While the Cardinal family did not experience much damage, others in the neighborhood were not as lucky, including Brady and Amy Cousins, who live about a quarter-mile down the street.
The Cousins' deck, about 650 feet of fencing, a motor home, motorcycles and ATVs, a boat and a pavilion full of tools and equipment were all damaged during the flooding, according to Brady Cousins.
“It all just flooded out,” Brady said, looking at the creek, which sits about 80 feet behind his home. “It took everything out, and now it's just gone.”
The floodwaters rose over the creek's 10-foot bank and continued to rise about three feet once it hit the land, Brady Cousins said.
“The water actually came up under the house, and we could feel it hitting underneath the floor,” Brady Cousins said. “It's draining out now, slowly, but now we have to scrape mud and start mold prevention methods – it's just so frustrating.
“The water's come about 20 feet from my house, but now, it got all the way up and took my porches off.”
During the course of the day, the Cousins family found its generator, chain saw and an air compressor about a half-mile downstream, he said.
The floodwaters covered the social hall and basement of the North Buffalo Grace Brethren Church on Skinall Road, damaging its piano and filling an elevator shaft with several inches of water, according to Melody Blevins.
Melody's husband, Dave Blevins, is the church pastor.
“We saw a little water coming into the basement, so my husband and I got out the mops, and started moving things off the ground to keep them safe,” she said. “But all of the sudden, we turned around, and everything was flooded.
“As we took on water, we could just hear things crashing and falling over.”
The church's basement took on about 14 inches of water she said.
About a half-dozen church members came out to help with the cleanup efforts on Thursday, Melody Blevins said. Over the next several days, Blevins said church officials must scrub and sanitize every part of the church that was under water.
She hopes to have the cleanup done in time for Sunday's services. Blevins recommends anyone interested in coming to the church call in advance.
Like the church, Amy Mundy's basement took on several inches of water. Her garage and yard were also underwater, she said.
The majority of the water affecting Mundy's home came from the steep hill in her backyard, she said.
She had about three feet of water in her basement, which destroyed her hot water heater and furnace. Mundy said she doesn't expect her insurance to cover the damages.
“Flood insurance won't help me, because it's not considered a flood. It is considered to be runoff,” Mundy said. “We're just going to be cleaning up this garbage and mud forever.”
Brad Pedersen is a staff writer for Trib Total Media.