Flooding Strands CVSR Patrons in Independence

The Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad canceled all trains on Sunday after flooding marooned nearly 100 passengers aboard a train Saturday at the Rockside Road station in Independence.

Heavy rains triggered rising water that cut off Rockside Road near West Canal Road, thus closing the road in and out of the station.

Although a spokesperson for the Cuyahoga Valley National Park said the train wasn’t stuck due to the flooding, the 60 or so vehicles in the station’s parking lot were stranded.

Railroad officials ended up sending some of them home in cabs while others were put up in nearby hotels. Most of the passengers were able to cross a pedestrian bridge and have a friend or relative pick them up.

The train had arrived at the station at about 4:15 p.m. CVSR personnel had warned the passengers in Peninsula that the area was experiencing flooding, but that the water should recede by 8 p.m.

But by 7:30 p.m., water had not receded enough for vehicles to exit the station’s parking lot.

“We have been here since 12:45; we’re from Erie,” said Brad Anderson as he and his two children got into a cab to travel to a nearby hotel. “It’s been a two-hour drive to get here and we’re done. The three-hour tour was a little longer than expected.”

Video posted by Cleveland TV stations showed water beneath the wooden platform used at the Rockside Road station.

The National Weather Service in Cleveland said that the predicted moderate flooding had changed to major severity for the Cuyahoga River at Independence.

Flooding also prompted the closing of the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park from Lock 39 to Hunt House.

By Sunday, though, the Park Service had reopened the closed portion of the trail after the flood waters receded.

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