PAINESVILLE, Ohio - It was a massive flood that continued to haunt the owners of Painesville's Millstone condos for more than six years. But finally, after a long legal battle and help from Painesville city leaders, 36 families are now getting the federal help they've been waiting for.
The flood hit Painesville and other parts of Lake County in July 2006, causing so much damage that the Federal Emergency Management Agency had be called the the scene to provide assistance.
Millstone Condominium owners Jenny and Jerry Hobson showed NewsChannel5 pictures of the devastation, flood water so high that many of the families at the complex had to be rescued by boat.
"The water was everywhere,' said Jenny Hobson. "Our daughter's lost her condo in the same flood, so it was a double whammy."
But the situation got even worse for property owners after a legal battle over who would own the water-logged property caused all federal assistance to be put on hold.
The lawsuit locked-up the equity of all Millstone condo owners, causing some of them to fall into foreclosure.
But city leaders, like Painesville City Manager Rita McMahon, vowed to help. McMahon and members of city council kept federal assistance for the condo owners current, protecting the funds until the legal fight could be settled.
"We wanted to fulfill the commitment that my council made to them shortly after the flood," said McMahon. "We are going to do everything we can to help get their lives back, and hopefully that's where we are today."
The lawsuit was finally settled after six years and condo owners are now being issued the federal assistance they've been waiting for.
The dilapidated Millstone complex will be torn down in October, and the land will be turned into a city park.
Condo owner Geri Cochrac praised city leaders for their persistent help.
"I'm very happy now," said Cochrac. "I'm glad to get this behind me, I"m looking forward to having a new life."
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