Stay away from Great Miami River, sheriff warns

Posted at 11:01 AM, Dec 28, 2015

CINCINNATI – A flood warning has been issued for the Great Miami River at Miamitown, but widespread river flooding is not expected this week, according to the National Weather Service.

In Miamitown, the Great Miami is expected to crest at 20.7 feet – 4-1/2 feet above flood stage – on Tuesday and Wednesday, and start receding Wednesday morning. At 20 feet, river flooding affects homes and businesses along the Great Miami River from New Baltimore to Cleves, according to the National Weather Service.

Butler County Sheriff Richard K. Jones warned people to stay away from the water, posting a video from the Two Mile Dam along the Great Miami in Hamilton, Ohio.

"The dam is almost nonexistent, almost gone," Jones said.

Sheila Short, who has lived in Hamilton for 30 years, said she worried about kids walking along the river to watch the high water.

"The water’s very rapid, and I’m hoping that no one would be down here with their children or anything -- wouldn’t be safe," she said.

Another longtime resident, Tony Harrison, recalled past flooding that was far worse.

"I grown up in New Miami. I've seen the whole river flood over to where it come over across the roads down there," he said.

In Whitewater Township, where the Great Miami and Whitewater rivers meet, one person had to be rescued from a vehicle stuck in high water along Lawrenceburg Road, according to Hamilton County dispatchers.

No other river warnings have been issued with the Ohio River and other tributaries expected to crest below flood stage.

The Ohio River at Cincinnati is not expected to reach flood stage of 52 feet, but minor flooding will occur along Kellogg Avenue and low-lying areas east of the city, the NWS says. The Ohio is expected to crest here at 48.8 feet Tuesday and stay at about 48 feet into Friday. At 48 feet, flooding in California, Ohio spreads further up Eldorado Street, and worsens along Kellogg Avenue.

The Little Miami is not expected to reach flood stage at Milford or Kings Mill.

The Licking River at Falmouth is expected to rise to 23.8 feet, nearly 10 feet below flood stage.