WHEATFIELD – High waters pounded an oft-flooded Wheatfield neighborhood on Wednesday afternoon, forcing volunteer fire crews to pump water into their truck and then blast it to the other side of the road in an effort to soften the damage.
The heavy rains cut off electricity to multiple homes on Eagle Chase Drive, located off of Lockport Road just east of Ward Road. Crews quickly restored power, and the Shawnee Volunteer Fire Company also reported no injuries.
But at least one neighbor reported at least $10,000 in damage.
"Within a matter of 15 minutes after the heavy rain started," Mary Poole said, "the whole street just flooded full."
According to Poole, a similar flood also caused severe damage last July. Several people who live in the subdivision said the streets see major flooding every year—sometimes multiple times a year.
Jason Lawrence, the chief of the Shawnee Volunteer Fire Company, said his crews have responded to this particular neighborhood three previous times. On Wednesday, firefighters responded around 2:30 p.m..
"This is," Lawrence said, "about as bad as it gets."
To help lower the water levels, the firefighters used a device to capture some of the flood water in their truck and then catapult it across Lockport Road. Lawrence said it's not the first time he's seen the technique used, though it certainly is not a common occurrence.
"We try anything to help people out," Lawrence said.
Meanwhile, portions of Ward Road in Wheatfield also flooded after the afternoon rainstorm, creating makeshift swimming pools in backyards and making some side streets difficult to pass through.
Justin Pawlak, who lives right off Ward Road, said it's nothing new in his neighborhood.
"You're talking, four yards over, they're completely swamped," Pawlak said. "A foot or two of water."
Eagle Chase Drive seemed to take the worst of the flooding, though.
"The people in the development, it's a safety hazard," Poole said. "They have no exit. People can't get in and can't get out. If there's an emergency, they're in trouble."