CINCINNATI (AP) — Forecasters expect flooding to persist through the week in the Cincinnati region, and authorities said Monday that will hinder efforts to assess damage.
The National Weather Service said the Ohio River crested Sunday at around 60.5 feet (18.4 meters), and was at 60.2 feet (18.4 meters) early Monday. That’s the highest since 1997, when the river climbed to 64.7 feet (19.7 meters) during deadly flooding.
Meteorologist Kristen Cassady, in Wilmington, Ohio, said a couple of dry days will help, but rain expected later in the week could delay the receding.
“It is slowly going down,” she said, adding that although no heavy rain is expected, even light rain would have an impact on the swollen river. The flood stage in the Cincinnati area is 52 feet, or 15.85 meters.
Monday commutes were complicated by closed roads east of Cincinnati and across the river in northern Kentucky, and some parking lots in downtown Cincinnati were flooded. The Ohio and other rivers caused basement flooding and sewage backups, as well as forcing riverfront businesses to close.
“Floodwaters are a mess,” Hamilton County Commissioner Todd Portune said, urging patience as authorities try to determine the extent of damages. “Until the water recedes, we simply will not know.”
There was minor flooding farther east along the Ohio, as well as from other waterways. Classes were canceled Monday at Ohio University in southeast Ohio.
Two tornadoes touched down over the weekend, one each in Clermont and Brown counties.