Mother, 5 kids’ home destroyed in Columbia Tusculum flood, landlord questions the city

Mother, 5 kids’ home destroyed in Columbia Tusculum flood, landlord questions the city


CINCINNATI (WKRC) – Violent storms sent flash floods raging through Cincinnati on Tuesday.

Now, families are dealing with the aftermath and what they believe is a lack of action by the city.

Briana Delmoral and her children came home to a disaster. They went to the store for a couple of hours and came back to their house flooded. Most of their belongings were destroyed.

This home off Delta Avenue, was supposed to be their fresh start. The family had moved to Columbia Tusculum from Florida two weeks before the flood.

“I broke down, started screaming and crying. This was my house, ‘what am I gonna do?’ I literally just paid 2 months of rent. I made sure everything was gonna be ok, to be sufficient, to look for a job. I already got a job down the street. That way I can just move on down from there. But now I’m like ‘oh my God, what do I do?’” said Delmoral.

Delmoral couldn’t shake the thought of how much worse it could have been.

“What freaks me out the most is my one-year-old sleeps on that trundle bed with his little sister, and the only thing I can keep thinking of is if we didn’t know the water was in the house until he already fell off into the water or something. It like could’ve been a lot worse,” said Delmoral.

She and her five children barely had a chance to unpack.

Delmoral said they found their dog standing on unopened boxes to get out of the rising water.

“It’s material stuff, but people work hard for their money and for their stuff,” said Delmoral.

To make matters worse for Delmoral, the renter’s insurance she thought she’d bought never went through.

Her landlord, Jim Hudson, was emotional seeing the damage.

“She’s trying to make this a home for her kids and then something like this happens,” said Hudson.

Hudson said he’s frustrated with the city. He says this is the fifth time in 12 years something like this has happened. It happens so often it’s nicknamed the “Widman Bowl” after the name of the street.

“It’s almost like a toilet where it flushes and the water comes up and just as fast goes back down,” said Hudson.

He and other neighbors believe the problem is a drain on the street.

“The drain itself is not quite big enough when it’s working to take all that water when it comes together down at that low point. Then, to make matters worse, the drain gets clogged by debris, which makes it unable to take any water. At that point, the water begins to rise and all of the homes in this area, vehicles and people who live here are affected a very terrible and catastrophic way,” said Tony Nista, a father of someone who lives on the street.

Hudson said the city has installed sewer backup prevention pumps, a waterproof door and even raised the windows on the home.

“I’ve appreciated those efforts, but it’s been ineffective,” said Hudson.

Hudson recalled at one point there had been some kind of discussion back in 2018 about plans to build a trench and install a pipe, but that never happened. He wants people would can fix this problem to make it a top priority.

“We need some help down here. We need this fixed. This could have been a total disaster if the little kids were downstairs. If the dog was in its cage downstairs,” said Delmoral.

Nista and others agreed.

“Somebody needs to do their job here,” said Tony Nista. “There’s no sense in getting into it or getting emotional about it. It’s a horrible thing. They know it’s a horrible thing and they’ve just let people deal with it and said oops we’re sorry after the fact for many many years and its got to stop.”

Nista spoke to Local 12 the night of the flood. His daughter’s family owns the home next to Hudson’s. Nista went to check on the house while his daughter was out of town after she got a call from a neighbor telling her the family’s car was floating.

Nista said their basement and everything in it was destroyed.

“Everything that was in the basement, appliances, other personal belongings, furnace, water heater, you name it, it’s all gone. It’s all ruined and this is the second time in three years for a young couple with a young child. It’s devastating beyond belief,” said Nista. “I don’t know what they’re going to do or how they’re going to deal with it and to top it off, they’re out of town. They just arrived in North Carolina this afternoon and they’re not even here to deal with it. It’s sad. It’s sad that they have to come home to this.”

Local 12 made attempts to get answers from the city about what the issue is, and what they plan to do about it. No comments were made in time for this report.


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