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Published: Sunday, 10/8/2006

Finkbeiner thanks Crawford Ave. flood victims for perseverance

Toledo Mayor Carty Finkbeiner met yesterday with Crawford Avenue residents whose homes were flooded three times over the summer and thanked them for sticking together during the devastation.

"I think everyone here knows we saw each other laboring furiously against the elements on the night of [July] 14," Mr. Finkbeiner said, proclaiming them all "citizens of the month."

The mayor and two dozen city employees brought apples, cider, and doughnuts for a gathering on Crawford attended by about 50 neighborhood residents.

Mr. Finkbeiner admitted some failures in water drainage for Crawford Avenue in West Toledo, a site of serious flooding in June and July.

"We had a bottleneck in the underground sewers and that is going to be eliminated," he said. "The ditches are going to be deepened and cleaned and nearby retention ponds will be deepened."

A proposal to spend $1.17 million for additional improvements to Shantee Creek to abate flooding is expected to be discussed at City Council's biweekly agenda review meeting Tuesday.

The money would pay for widening of the drainage channel for 1,500 feet as it travels east of Detroit Avenue and under Norfolk Southern railroad tracks.

Art Swearengen,69, who has lived on Crawford for 38 years, said residents appreciated the mayor showing up yesterday.

"The floods were disasters for a lot of people, but the city came through," Mr. Swearengen said.

About 10,000 sandbags were used in July to hold flood waters from the street.

Those bags are now reinforcing the banks of Shantee Creek, the mayor said.

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