Ohio Flooding Shuts Down Section of Interstate
BUCKEYE LAKE, Ohio (AP) _ High water shut down several miles of an interstate on Sunday after floodgates at Buckeye Lake were opened to reduce lake levels, authorities said.
The body of a man who went rafting down a tributary of the rain-swollen Licking River was recovered from a logjam.
About 3,000 people were temporarily evacuated from this central Ohio village Saturday because of fears an aging retaining wall would rupture and flood the area.
″It’s looking a lot better today than yesterday,″ Mayor James Bartoe said Sunday.
The lake was 12 inches higher than normal, but had dropped 6 inches since Saturday’s heavy rains, said Police Chief Ronald Small. Floodgates were opened at the lake to relieve pressure on the wall, sending water into the south fork of the Licking River, making Interstate 70 to the north impassable.
Recreational boating was banned on Buckeye Lake until further notice, Small said.
Dispatchers for the State Highway Patrol said I-70 was closed periodically Saturday night and Sunday. The highway was reopened late Sunday afternoon, said dispatcher Julie Miller.
The body of Brian Hinger of Newark was recovered in a logjam in the north fork of the Licking River north of Buckeye Lake near St. Louisville, Newton Township Fire Chief Jim Glover said.
Hinger, 21, and a friend had gone rafting Saturday night on an inner tube when they were entangled in a logjam, Glover said. His friend, Ardell Hollobaugh, 22, of Newark, was rescued.
Both men were scuba divers and experience lifeguards, Glover said.
Robert Frey, an inspector with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, examined flood damage Sunday and said he would recommend that Licking County be declared a federal disaster area.
Gov. Richard Celeste on Saturday declared Licking County in a state of emergency, and asked President Bush to declare it a disaster area.