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Flood cleanup is coming along, but it could take a while

Posted at 12:19 AM, Mar 01, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-01 05:14:26-05

CINCINNATI -- Souvenirs of the previous week's flooding littered riverside communities after the Ohio River receded Wednesday night, and both businesses and local governments faced down the costly, time-consuming task of cleaning them up.

Betsy Eicher, co-owner of Urban Grill, found the flood turned her Newtown restaurant's "perfect spot" into an island when the Little Miami River overflowed over the weekend.

"The Little Miami came knocking at our door and came very close, but it didn't come into our parking lot," she said.

The surrounding tide and subsequent traffic issues, however, led to customer confusion as would-be patrons struggled first to find out whether Urban Grill was open and then to reach it amid a tangle of closed-off roads.

"People had to go by a police presence to identify their need for being in our area," Eicher said. "I was absolutely concerned that people would just find some place that's easier to get to."

Scott Wilder, a resident of Worth Street on Cincinnati's East End, found picnic tables, tree branches and garbage outside his home when the water left; city of Cincinnati Public Works crews later arrived with trucks and equipment to remove it. 

Nine teams of Cincinnati inspectors will be out Thursday to access damage on more than 1,000 buildings impacted by the flood. This comes one day after the city declared an emergency so officials can pool resources to get people back into homes and reopen roads.

City officials promised Wednesday flood-affected roads would be totally clear and open in time for Reds Opening Day on March 29.