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Tri-State residents 'go with the flow' as Ohio River rises

Ohio River Flooding Night.jpg
Posted at 10:05 PM, Mar 03, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-04 11:11:51-05

CINCINNATI — The Ohio River is set to crest sometime Wednesday night, putting homes in low-lying areas at risk of flooding.

Most people who live in flood-prone areas say they are watching the river closely, but they’re grateful things aren’t projected to be nearly as bad as in years past.

“I like it 'cause it’s nice and quiet – most of the time,” said Pat Alsepp, who lives in Cincinnati's California neighborhood.

Her community is no stranger to flooding.

“Right now, if it doesn’t go any higher, then we’ll be okay. But if it goes an inch more, we won’t be,” Alsepp said.

She’s lived in California for decades and remembers the impact the 2018 flood had on their home and others in the neighborhood. That year, the Ohio River crested at more than 60 feet, impacting communities throughout the Tri-State.

“I’ve lived all my life in water, with the water coming up,” Alsepp said. “That’s the way it is.”

This time she said current water levels, while a spectacle to some, feel like far less of a threat.

“When you live down here, you learn to live with it,” California resident David Christ said.

People who live near the river ask gawkers who might come down to view the high waters to stay away.

“Do not come down looking at the river because there’s people down here that are really in need of getting their stuff out, and when you come down the street and you’re blocking the street from people that are really getting their stuff out of their house,” Christ said, "that’s an issue.”

When it comes to the looming threat brought on by having water this close to homes, Alsepp said to live this close to the river is to go with the flow.

“We’ll be okay,” she said.

Generations of families have lived in California for decades enduring the flooding to the area, and more are moving to the area into brand-new homes just erected along the riverside.