Central Ohio widow loses home in flood hours after burying husband


Five homes on Wendell Road near Pickerington were under water Thursday. There is a creek that runs through the neighborhood which worsened the impact of this week's rain.

Jane Girton's home was seemingly the worst hit.

"The basement was completely filled," she said. "We lost the washer, dryer, air conditioner, furnace, water heater."

About a dozen family members and friends helped pull piles of debris from the home Girton has lived with her husband for the last 32 years. The first two floors of the home were destroyed. Girton's two daughters were with the crew helping to go through the garbage, but there was one family member missing from the bunch.

"We spent two weeks in the ICU unit every day," said Girton about her husband. "I thought he was going to get better and he took a turn for the worse."

Sunday, Jane's 70-year-old husband, Mark, passed away. The couple had been married for 48 years. He died on the 50th anniversary of their first date.

"I had to let him go and then, you know, we had maybe two days and started on funeral arrangements," said Girton.

Girton's family gave a final farewell to Mark on Thursday. The same day heavy rain took over their neighborhood.

"I came home to the house and it was flooded," said Girton.

Knee-deep water washed away a marriage worth of furniture and memories. The same happened to Girton and her husband back in 1987.

"I had insurance then. Now, I don't have flood insurance," said Girton.

The impacts of this week's flood have left a devastating imprint.

Jane and her daughter are having to stay in a motor home until they can nail down more permanent accommodations.

"I'll have to use his life insurance to fix up the house," Girton said. "Whether I stay here or whether I move, the house has to be fixed."

Girton says she will likely find another home to live in.

"I can't go through this again," she said.

The Franklin Heights football team helped with cleanup Friday. The family also received cleaning supplies from the American Red Cross.

Girton says the family will have to tackle home repairs next.