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Ohio River Flooding: What you need to know for your Monday commute

Posted at 12:15 AM, Feb 26, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-26 07:35:40-05

CINCINNATI -- Officials are urging drivers to plan their Monday morning commutes accordingly after the Ohio River crested at 60.5 feet Sunday, closing many Tri-State roads with its floodwaters. 

Hamilton County Commission President Todd Portune said Mehring Way will remain closed for Monday’s commute. Additionally, several riverfront garages at The Banks are closed due to flooding. 

  • Lot A at Third & Central: Open for business.
  • Lot B: Currently inaccessible since access is from West Pete Rose Way.  
  • Lot D: Closed, no access from either Mehring Way or West Pete Rose Way.
  • Lot E: Closed, no access from Mehring Way.
  • East Garage: Open except for the bottom level. Only access is from East Pete Rose Way (north entrance/exit). South entrance from Mehring Way is closed.
  • Broadway West at Third & Broadway: open.
  • Central Riverfront Garage - upper level (P1) open entirely. Access to CRG is limited ONLY to Race Street entrances and the Main Street entrance.

Columbia Parkway reopened as of 1 p.m. Sunday. It had been closed Saturday near Delta Avenue. 

Any parking south of Third Street is underwater, Cincinnati police said. Police said commuters from eastern suburbs should be aware that the Salem/Apple Hill/Kellogg route is partially flooded. Wooster Road is also closed from Beechmont Circle north to Redbank Road. 

In a statement, City Manager Harry Black said officials will reopen roads as soon as it is safe to do so. 

“Given the amount of significant road closures the morning commute will be difficult for many. We encourage travelers to check for the latest closures, plan for extra travel time and consider altering travel schedules, if possible,” Black said. 

Police have strongly advised residents to not drive through floodwaters. Driving on a flooded roadway is exceptionally dangerous, and driving on a closed roadway is illegal. Motorists can be ticketed up to $2,000 for driving through barricades. 

The National Weather Service says a mere 6 inches of fast-moving flood water is enough to knock over a full-grown adult, and that just a foot of rushing water can carry away a small car. 

Two feet of rushing water is forceful enough to float away almost any SUV or pickup truck. Standing water over roadways can also harbor hidden dangers such as sharp objects, live electrical wires or chemicals.

Portune also mentioned drivers should use caution when driving in the coming week, as many roads will likely be covered in debris.