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Hamilton County declares state of emergency for flooding conditions

Gov. Kasich declared state of emergency Saturday
Hamilton County declares state of emergency for flooding conditions
Posted at 10:19 AM, Feb 26, 2018

CINCINNATI -- The Hamilton County Board of Commissioners asked for the public's patience Monday morning as it declared a state of emergency due to flooding along Greater Cincinnati's rivers.

Ohio Gov. John Kasich already declared a state of emergency in 17 counties, including Hamilton County, on Saturday. 

County Commissioner Todd Portune explained the additional local declaration is an effort to get "ahead of the curve" and not miss out on any potential assistance or aid that may be available to flood-struck communities.

"Until the waters recede, we simply will not know what the impact has been, and it would frankly be irresponsible for anyone to speculate what the total damage numbers are with respect to impact to property," Portune said.

The state of emergency will expire in seven days unless renewed by a majority of the board.

Watch the commissioners' meeting in the Facebook Live video below.

The river has fallen about a half-foot since it crested at 60.53 feet on Sunday, but it won't fall below the moderate flood stage until Saturday at the earliest, said Nick Crossley, director of the Hamilton County Emergency Management & Homeland Security Agency. 

He added the Cincinnati Fire Department would conduct a welfare check Monday on residents who chose to stay behind in California. The neighborhood was accessible only by boat on Monday morning.

Crossley added that the Metropolitan Sewer District has received 498 field investigation requests related to sewer back ups from the recent rains. He said they've authenticated 118 for MSD to clean up.

MSD customers that have (or had) a sewer backup into their home or business should call 513-352-4900, or log their service request at within 24 hours of the backup. Additional information regarding MSD's Sewer Backup Program can be found at this site, along with information about safely dealing with sewer backups.

MSD is currently experiencing a very high volume of calls and service requests, so customers are advised that field response may be delayed. Customers are encouraged to take photos and document sources of backup as damages to property and structures. This information can be very useful in all stages of follow-up work.