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Coast Guard bans boats on Ohio River during Western & Southern/WEBN fireworks

WEBN fireworks 2018
Posted at 2:27 PM, Sep 01, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-01 20:11:21-04

CINCINNATI — Boaters will have to make other plans to watch this weekend's Western & Southern/WEBN Fireworks.

On Wednesday, the U.S. Coast Guard issued a ban on boats tying up or anchoring along the shores of the Ohio River for the annual Labor Day weekend pyrotechnic display.

"​It's always a difficult decision to alter traditions, and people are used to enjoying a great time for Riverfest," said Lt. Nicholas Olmstead with the Coast Guard.

He said, unfortunately, remnants of Hurricane Ida have led to high water levels on the Ohio River, which means dangerous conditions for boaters when the firework display takes place at 9 p.m. Sunday.

"Some years -- I've been here personally in the 40-some-years we've been doing this -- I've never seen a river do this in August and September," said Joe Rozzi, owner of Rozzi's Fireworks.

The Coast Guard stated it will create a safety zone from 3 p.m. to midnight from C&B Marine in Covington to Satisfaction Cruises just past Coney Island. That area typically is where boaters watch the fireworks display put together by Rozzi's.

"The reasoning is the increased water level brings with it increased danger to navigation, in the form of both the high water and current levels, but also with the debris field that comes with that increased water level," Olmstead said.

Rozzi said the high water levels should not affect the show.