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Region Braces For February Floodwaters

The Ohio River is rising.  Scott Hickman with the National Weather Service blames heavy rain.

He says as of early Monday afternoon, "The Ohio River at Cincinnati measured 53.95 feet. It will continue to slowly rise as we head into mid-week. Now we're forecasting the river to crest just above moderate flood stage at 56.1 feet. That should occur sometime Wednesday morning."

Cincinnati installed the Queensgate floodgates and has closed the Mill Creek Barrier Dam. Covington has installed the Madison Avenue floodwall gate.  Cincinnati Public Schools' Riverview school could relocate to the Jacobs Center Tuesday.

Credit Bill Rinehart / WVXU
The Ohio River has slipped out of its banks, and closed some of the pathways through Smale Riverfront Park

Sunday, Cincinnati Parks workers were putting sandbags along the path outside the Boathouse. On Monday morning, crews at Great American Ball Park were securing the southeast gates.

The flood warning along the river will probably stay in effect for a while, Hickman says. "Current forecast has it going down but we're expecting a prolonged period of rain as we head into the weekend. So it may initially come down but there's a good chance that it might come back up. And how far it comes back up is still uncertain at this point."

Since the Ohio River is running so high, people who live along the tributaries, including the Little and Great Miami and the Licking Rivers should expect flood waters to back up, Hickman says.

"Based on the historical paths at Cincinnati, you can expect backwater flooding in Anderson Township, roads and basement flooding in low lying areas such as New Richmond and California, and Pierce Township in Clermont County."

Kellogg is closed between 275 and Four Mile. Hickman says Route 8 in Kentucky and Route 56 in Indiana are usually affected as well.

Bill Rinehart started his radio career as a disc jockey in 1990. In 1994, he made the jump into journalism and has been reporting and delivering news on the radio in markets including Omaha and Lincoln, Nebraska; Sioux City, Iowa; Dayton, Ohio; and most recently as senior correspondent and anchor for Cincinnati’s WLW-AM.