River contamination from Dayton tornadoes could flow to Cincinnati area

Updated: Jun. 2, 2019 at 12:41 PM EDT
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HAMILTON, Ohio (FOX19) - Eighteen tornadoes that tore through Dayton on Monday caused river contamination that could trickle into rivers leading into Greater Cincinnati-area counties.

Dayton and Montgomery County Public Health issued a warning this week to avoid the Stillwater and Great Miami rivers due to possible contamination. The agency warns of parasites, viruses and bacteria in the rivers.

Wastewater that was redirected into the Stillwater River runs directly into the Great Miami River and down through Butler and Hamilton counties, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.

ODNR Officer Heidi Hayes said it’s been a record year for rain, and Dayton’s recent tornadoes could pose problems for those who like to spend time on the Great Miami River.

“You never know what the flood waters are going to wash down stream and it doesn’t matter how experienced you are,” she said. “Even the most experienced people ... you can’t win against water, the current is just too strong.”

Debris tossed into the water from tornadoes is also a concern to the ODNR.

“There’s not a lot we can do once the waters go down,” Hayes said.

Health concerns associated with wastewater coming down stream range from diarrhea to hepatitis A.

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