On Thursday afternoon, a super-sized store faced a super-sized cleanup.
The Sam’s Club at the corner of Brookpark and Tiedeman Roads sat in a sea of mud, along with the Burger King next door.
It was all because of a quick and heavy storm Wednesday night that forced Big Creek, bordering the properties, to crest.
Some people say they saw the trouble coming years ago.
Bob Gardin is the Executive Director of Big Creek Connects, an environmental group that believes the widening of Big Creek and the removal of a bridge between Sam’s and Wal-Mart could have helped.
“The way it’s built with the concrete, that may be part of it. They may need to look at rebuilding that,” Gardin said. “The system can only handle so much.”
It was a storm unlike anything rescuers had ever seen there.
As desperate calls flooded 911, the Parma Fire Department worked with neighboring departments to rescue more than 30 people by boat.
“The water was very dirty,” said Kurt Just, Parma Water Rescue. “You don’t know what’s underneath the water, what’s flowing by you…manhole covers come off in stuff life like that, so people could fall inside.”
Fortunately, that did not happen, in water that seemed to recede almost as quickly as it fell.
Both businesses currently remain closed and there is no word on how soon they may reopen.
WKYC Channel 3 flew our drone out to get an up-close look at the damage done in and around the area. You can watch our footage below: