Flooding Reported Across Ohio

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It’s an ominous first day of spring across Ohio, as authorities watch rivers that are expected to crest well above flood stage.Already, communities are dealing with swamped homes and submerged roads after several days of heavy rain. High water has shut down the eastbound lanes of Interstate 70 near Buckeye Lake in central Ohio’s Licking County.

Counties along the Scioto River in southern Ohio are bracing for flooding that’s expected to be the worst since January 2005. In Findlay in northwest Ohio, the Blanchard River has once again gone over its 11-foot flood level.

Just outside the office of the Pickaway County Emergency Management Agency the courthouse chimes were playing “Anchors Aweigh.”

Boats won’t be taking to the water to evacuate residents just yet. County EMA director Jim Deal said today in Circleville that flooding from the Scioto River and tributaries should be limited to some county roads and a few state highways.

“When we reach flood stages such as this, we have a lot of county roads in small townships that are underwater at this time in certain sections so they’re being blocked off,” Deal says. “When it does get to 21 feet it does go over some state highways; State Route 762 in the northern part of the county. And also it will hit areas of US 22 and State Route 56 just west of the city. It will flood that at 21 feet.

The National Weather Service in Wilmington says the Scioto River at Circleville will crest at 21 feet. That will force water upstream in tributaries, like the creek that flows past the already soggy Brookside Mobile Home Park.

“It gets up in the creek over there, the other day it was up to the top over there.”

Lola Colburn lives in one of the mobile homes just north of downtown. She says she has not received any evacuation notice. “I hope we don’t get flooded out,” she says.

County EMA director Deal says officials will keep an eye on low lying areas, like the trailer park where Colburn lives, though he says he doesn’t expect any evacuations.

“We’re going out this afternoon with the health department and make sure that these mobile homes have their propane tanks and oil tanks strapped down,” Deal says. “That’s a problem we had in 2005, they were being ripped from the structures.”

Jim Noel of the National Weather Service’s Ohio River Forecast Center in Wilmington says drivers should watch for dangerous water covering roads and highways.

“Turn around, don’t drown, and stay away from the flood waters if possible.”

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