Memorial Day fundraiser planned for Cuyahoga Falls families who lost homes to massive flooding

CUYAHOGA FALLS, Ohio - A large Memorial Day fundraiser is planned to benefit several Cuyahoga Falls residents whose homes were condemned after massive flooding last week.

The Community Support Raffle will be held at 6 p.m. Monday at the Riverfront's Cruise In Car Show.

Shannon Campbell, owner of Sugar-Luv Confections, organized the event and more than 50 businesses have contributed gift baskets or gift cards.

"The community is in need. The residents are in need. Now it's our turn," Campbell said.

The powerful storm caused extensive damage to Cuyahoga Falls.

Mayor Don Walters estimated damage to city property at $1.3 million. That does not include flooding damage done to nearly 800 homes.

The foundations of several homes were washed away and the city condemned five of the structures. Inspectors continue to examine four other homes which also may be condemned.

The home of Michael and Michaelann Hammonds was lost to the flood. The couple was trapped in their basement with water up to their necks before they were rescued by neighbors who used an ax and a circular saw to cut through the floor joist and pull them to safety.

Michael Hammonds said his family lost many possessions, including musical instruments, clothing, Christmas decorations, book and toys.

The couple and their three children are now getting counseling and are very grateful for the outpouring of community support.

"It's such a wonderful feeling. It touches my heart. It brings tears to my eyes most of the time," Hammonds said.

Summit, Medina and Lorain counties all declared a state of emergency and reported damage amounts to state leaders. The counties are hoping to receive funding through the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Walters applauded the businesses for joining forces and said the victims are dealing with "a financial nightmare."

'Most people do not have flooding insurance. Most of the homeowners polices did not cover this, so not only do have a mortgage and their property tax, they have to replace their belongings and pay for somewhere to live," Walters said.

Donatos on State Road is offering "Dine to Donate" on May 27 and 28.  A percentage of their sales will be added to the fundraising effort.

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