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Ohio River flooding spared Rabbit Hash homes, businesses

Residents hope for good business weekend ahead
Rabbit Hash General Store
Posted at 6:36 PM, Mar 04, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-04 19:45:42-05

RABBIT HASH, Ky. — While Rabbit Hash saw some flooding as the Ohio River crested at more than 55 feet Thursday, residents are relieved to see waters recede without damage to homes and businesses.

Some roads are still impassable Thursday due to flooding, forcing drivers to take the long way around up the mountain if they need to leave their homes.

“We came out a little bit to kind of check out the town, see what was going on and make sure everybody was safe, but everybody seems safe,” said Rabbit Hash resident Amy Noland.

In the scenic Kentucky town, known for its campgrounds and kayaking, this week would have been one of the first of its busy season. But, melting snow and rain caused the river to swell overnight.

“It could have gotten really serious, just a little more snow,” she said.

Rabbit Hash
Roads were still impassable March 4, 2021 as the Ohio River flooded. After cresting at 55 feet, waters are now receding.

Lower River Road appeared to have the worst flooding, with riverside gazebos and yards underwater.

The Rabbit Hash General Store, art store and winery were untouched. Mary Ellen Pesek with the general store said this time it appears the town “dodged a bullet.”

“We always kind of keep an eye on the weather of course, and the flood stage, because you know in the past we have had it come in the store, but it’s somewhat rare,” said Mary Ellen Pesek with the general store. “But everybody's ready to go with their four-wheel drives and trailers and things, so we're on the ready.”

The flooding shut down the ferry that takes people across the Ohio River to Indiana because the water was too high for cars to get to the boat. While it might not look like it on the surface, the river continues to move rapidly with the large debris flowing past quickly.

Flooded camp ground
Floodwaters partially covered a campground in Rabbit Hash, Kentucky on March 4, 2021.

Still, longtime locals said this week is nothing like the flood they endured in 2017.

“That was really bad,” Noland said. “Most of the folks around town kayaked here instead of driving."

By Thursday night, water is receding and skies are clear. Most boat ramps are still closed, but campgrounds are open.

In fact, residents are hoping to see a good business weekend ahead.

“The weather is supposed to be nice. People want to get out, so we're looking forward to it,” Noland said.