Ray Ebert’s been busy lately. A snowy February slid right into a March that opened with flooding in the Ohio River, prompting the Newport director of public works to close the Columbia Street floodgate Wednesday afternoon.
The Ohio River had reached 55.6 feet — a level considered a moderate flood stage — by the afternoon, according to the National Weather Service.
The last time it rose that high was 2018, when it crested at 60 feet and flooded riverside communities throughout Greater Cincinnati.
NWS experts don’t expect 2018 levels of flooding this week, however. The agency’s projections show the river topping out at 56.4 feet overnight before receding again over the next several days.
Commuters passing the Cincinnati riverfront in the meantime will see flooding in low-lying parking lots, side streets and parks. Neighborhoods that sit in the danger zone, including California and the East End, are prepping for flooding that may affect their homes.
“The way it's looking, we may take (the floodgate) down Friday at the latest and have it open for the weekend,” Ebert said. “It all depends what the river wants to do.”