© 2024 WOSU Public Media
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Hamilton County Leaders Want Disaster Reports As Soon As Possible

Even though the Ohio River crested on Sunday, it's still in moderate flood stage and causing problems in Hamilton County.
Bill Rinehart
Even though the Ohio River crested on Sunday, it's still in moderate flood stage and causing problems in Hamilton County.

Updated 5:10 p.m.

Hamilton County disaster officials are still trying to get a handle on the scope of flood damage this week. The Ohio River was still above 59 feet, Monday afternoon, which puts it in moderate flood stage.

Officials are also watching the calendar. The river is predicted to fall below flood stage slowly. The amount of damage will determine if the county qualifies for state and federal aid. Emergency Management Director Nick Crossley says the plan is to report to the state by March 9. If there's enough damage to qualify for federal assistance, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) could send representatives the week of March 12.

"We will follow how long it takes to recede and we'll work with the state (of Ohio) on that date. It's really from the end of the event, so they're clarifying the end of the event with FEMA today. Then we have 30 days to complete all the damage assessments including the ones with the federal government."

Crossley is encouraging individuals and communities to document damage as soon as it's safe. "If it looks like the water will take longer to recede and Cincinnati or anybody cannot safely assess their areas, we will go back to the state and say 'here's our issues, we need a few more days to be able to get in there.'"

It's not clear if the damage will be extensive enough to qualify for aid.

"It's really hard to gauge right now. It really depends on road damage there was. Depends on if any of our structural equipment at MSD (Metropolitan Sewer District), Water Works, Storm Water Management, the parks department (is damaged). We got a call from Hamilton County Parks this morning. Several of the parks, I've been to two of them, are completely flooded," Crossley says.

The Monday morning update from Hamilton County Emergency Management included:

  • The American Red Cross received six calls for assistance on Saturday. By Sunday morning, 12 calls came from the California neighborhood. Cincinnati Fire Department organized welfare checks on those residents Monday.
  • The Metropolitan Sewer District's sewer backup program received 514 calls as of Monday morning. Field investigators had looked into 316 of those, with 118 work orders filed.
  • There were no requests for shelters or feeding centers, and no injuries or fatalities reported.

Parking is still limited along Cincinnati's riverfront, including the Banks.

  • Lot A at Third & Central - Open for business.
  • Lot B - Open. No pedestrian exit through Central Riverfront Garage.  
  • Lot D - Open. No pedestrian exit through Central Riverfront Garage.  Access only from West Pete Rose Way.
  • Lot E - Closed.
  • East Garage - Open except for the bottom level.  However, the only access is from East Pete Rose Way (north entrance/exit).  South entrance from Mehring Way is closed.
  • Broadway West at Third & Broadway - Open.
  • Central Riverfront Garage - Upper level (P1) open entirely. Access to CRG is limited ONLY to East Pete Rose Way, Race Street and Main Street entrances.
  • Paul Brown Stadium (Lot U) - Closed.

Copyright 2021 91.7 WVXU. To see more, visit .

Rinehart has been a radio reporter since 1994 with positions in markets like Omaha and Lincoln, Nebraska; Sioux City, Iowa; Dayton, Ohio: and most recently as senior correspondent and anchor for Cincinnati’s WLW-AM.