Ohio River flooding: City officials declare emergency to recover from flood

CINCINNATI -- The city declared an emergency Wednesday so officials can pool resources to get people back into homes and reopen roads.

The emergency declaration does not constitute an imminent threat to citizens. 

Cincinnati Fire Department Assistant Chief Anson Turley said officials declared the emergency to be “as nimble as possible” in getting the city back to normal.  

Crews were working from Mehring Way Downtown to Kellogg Avenue on the East End to get mud and debris off the roads. Officials are confident the city will recover long before the Reds’ Opening Day on March 29. 

Some businesses, like Riverside Centre Antique Mall on the East End, are still pumping out water. 

Kevin Morris, a merchant with Cincy Salvage inside Riverside Antiques, said water rose to three feet inside his store. 

“It's crazy,” Morris said. “The power of water and mother nature is nothing you can reckon with.” 

Now Morris is faced with property damage; mantles were knocked over, dressers toppled like dominos and old wooden beams crushed an antique wagon. 

“We've lost items - big ticket items that we sell - we'll lose out on selling that stuff,” Morris said. “The cleanup is going to take a while.” 

The antique mall is one of 1,000 building inspectors will visit this week to assess damage. 

General clean up doesn’t require permits, but improvements to buildings do. Officials will open a temporary permit center Friday at Leblond Recreation Center. 

The Regional Operations Center in South Fairmont is coordinating cleanup efforts.

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