Stay safe at home — unless you have to leave

The alert issued by the Seneca County Sheriff’s Office was at once familiar and out of place.

We’re used to Level 2 roadway warnings — in the winter.

But this is summer.

Instead of advising motorists about snow, the alert warned of widespread flooding across the county. The warning was issued about 7 a.m. and, thankfully, cancelled four hours later.

Water woes continue for many residents in our circulation area, however. Some have had rainwater seep into basements. Todd James, executive director of the American Red Cross of North Central Ohio, advised those who have flooded basements to wait until the water recedes before beginning cleanup.

“We want everybody to be safe,” James said Thursday, noting the danger of electrical shock in flooded basements.

He suggested contacting a plumber or electrician to help first. “There could even be sewer backup down there,” James said.

The Red Cross offers information on how to clean up after a flood. Find that online at /



And if floodwaters start rising again and threaten to inundate your home, James advised having a plan ready in case you need to leave.

Those who were fortunate to avoid issues due to the deluge Thursday morning might find themselves on the receiving end of those evacuation plans. If friends or family need to leave their homes due to floodwaters, be prepared to offer them a place to stay. Something familiar might be a comfort to those who find themselves displaced.