Ohio River floods: Landslides, heavy rain, roads close

Restaurant works to keep doors open despite flooded roads

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - Heavy rains pushed the Ohio River into flood stage Tuesday, causing landslides that downed trees and blocked several roads, including a major route into downtown Cincinnati.

Flooded roads also closed two casinos in Anderson Township and southeastern Indiana, and a Northern Kentucky school district. Hamilton County EMA officials estimate at least a dozen roads are closed in the Tri-State.

In Anderson Township: Debolt at Clear Creek, State Route 32 (Between Clough Pike and Turpin Ln.), Four Mile Rd at Kellogg, Kellogg Road (between Sutton & Belterra), Eight Mile Rd north of Old Kellogg.

In Springfield Township: Miles Rd (between Daly Rd and Mill Rd.) and Lakeridge Rd (between Mcklevey Rd and Lochrest)

In Miami - Whitewater Township: Lawrenceburg Rd (Suspension Bridge and Stephens) and Lakeridge Road (Between US-50 & Miamiview)

City of Cincinnati: Columbia Parkway (Between Kemper Lane and Baines Ave.), Straight Street (between Luna and McMicken Avenues.)

And while the rain began tapering mid-morning, more is coming that will push the river into “moderate” flood stage when it crests at 56.3 inches Tuesday night. At levels that high, the flooded river will threaten homes and more businesses. Ones in Newport such as Hooters have been shut down since Monday, and their docks are underwater.

Columbia Parkway was shut down in both directions due to landslides landslides and downed trees, according to Cincinnati police. It has since reopened.

Other road closures, according to dispatchers:

  • Lawrenceburg between Stephens and Suspension Bridge 
  • Miles between West Mill and Daly
  • Lakeridge between Mckelvey and Lochcrest   -
  • Eight Mile at Old Kellogg   
  • Kellogg Ave between Sutton and Four Mile 

Belterra Park Cincinnati is temporarily closed in Anderson Township. The property will reopen once Kellogg Avenue reopens, said Steve Newsome Belterra spokesman. There is no water on Belterra property. He said he doesn’t think flooding this year as February 2018, when flooding closed Belterra 12 days.

“Last year was significantly worse. Some of the water made it onto the racing track and the back end of the property but it will never make it into the building. It’s situated 16 feet off the ground," he said.

Still, flooding is closing Belterra Casino Resort in Switzerland County Indiana at 8 a.m. Tuesday, he said. That is just the casino. The hotel, spa and some of the restaurants remain open, Newsome said.

“When the river reaches a certain level, the boarding ramp becomes inaccessible. It’s just at that level,” he said about 6:30 a.m.

Flooding last year closed the casino three days.

“We are hoping this one will be a short one. The best we can do is keep an eye on it. We will keep everybody updated on the progress," he said.

Gallatin County Schools shut down just before 6 a.m. due to current flooding of local roads and the potential for more rising water, school district officials said in a tweet.

All this comes as the heaviest rain in this two-day weather event is arriving just in time for the morning drive. The rain is not expected to let up until lunchtime. Due to saturated grounds, all of the rain will quickly run off into area streams and creeks and cause flooding.

This is expected to be the worst flooding the area has seen since the river swelled to just a few feet more - 60.53 feet in February 2018. Major chunks of southwestern Ohio including Cincinnati, Northern Kentucky and southeastern Indiana were under water. It was the highest the river reached since the floods of 1997.

Just under an inch of rain already was recorded Monday at Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport, according to the weather service. Another 1 to 1.5 inches is expected Tuesday.

Then, a Wind Advisory will go into effect 5 p.m. Tuesday night through 7 a.m. Wednesday. Gusts are expected to whip up to 45 mph.

Temperatures are milder than normal for this time of year Tuesday, but a cold front will push through Wednesday.

The high will make it to about 54 degrees by 4 p.m. before temperatures nosedive Tuesday night. The low tonight will be 28.

Watch for a light snow shower to develop, reducing visibility and creating isolated slick spots.

We will dry out Wednesday with partly sunny skies, but temperatures will remain in the 30s,

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