The Latest: Kasich: Preparation helped minimize flood damage
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The Latest on flooding throughout large portions of Ohio (all times local):
Republican Gov. John Kasich (KAY’-sihk) says preparations by local and state officials ahead of heavy rains and expected flooding helped Ohio “dodge a bullet” with no loss of life reported to this point.
Kasich held a briefing Sunday at the state’s emergency operations center.
He pointed to his order five days ago to activate 40 soldiers from an Ohio National Guard engineering company to raise floodgates along the Ohio River in Portsmouth. Kasich issued an emergency declaration Saturday in 17 southern and eastern counties that would allow for activation of more National Guard soldiers if needed.
The Ohio River in Cincinnati was expected to crest at 60.6 feet (18.5 meters) Sunday afternoon, the highest level there since 1997 when flood stage reached 64.7 feet (19.7 meters). The river is expected to remain above flood stage the rest of the week.
The National Weather Service says heavy rains overnight have sent the swollen Ohio River at Cincinnati to its highest point in 20 years.
Meteorologist Kristen Cassady says the river reached 60 feet (18.3 meters) Sunday morning, 8 feet (2.4 meters) above flood stage. It’s the highest recording since 1997, when the river reached 64.7 feet (19.7 meters).
Cassady says rain totals varied between 1.5 and 2.5 inches overnight. She says while no rain is forecast until mid-week, tributaries feeding the Ohio will likely keep the river above flood stage throughout the week.
Flooding of smaller rivers and streams has caused road closings throughout central and southern Ohio.
Gov. John Kasich (KAY’-sihk) issued an emergency declaration Saturday to make National Guard soldiers available to help flooded communities if needed.