Heavy rains bring high water to county roads

Published 12:00 am Friday, December 14, 2007

After unseasonably warm weather came the rains.

On Wednesday and Thursday, Lawrence County got around three inches of rain causing flooding on some roads and sending some students home early.

Rock Hill schools sent students home early on Thursday so the buses could get through before rural areas flooded.

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Lawrence County engineer David Lynd said crews had to put up signs Thursday on County Road 181.

“We’ve been trying to monitor flooding at various places in the county,” Lynd said. Areas of concern included Scottown, Pedro and along the county’s many creeks.

On Thursday, the Ohio Department of Transportation closed State Route 93 between the 10 and 12.5 mile markers just after noon because of flooding. It was reopened before 4 p.m.

Lynd said he expects the county roads along the river to have some flash flooding and expects to have some flooding along Symmes Creek.

Lynd said he has been watching the Ohio River since it sometimes backs up into creeks causing flooding. He said he expects it to come up six or seven feet by Friday morning although it is still well below flood level.

“It will bring (water) up on Hog Run Road and it may come over Lawrence Street Road,” he explained. “So we will be keeping an eye on that over the weekend.”

Ironton Street Department Superintendent Mike Pemberton said the Ohio River was at 37 feet Friday morning. The flood level is 50 feet.

Lt. Michael Gore of the Ohio State Highway Patrol said there had been some accidents, but no major injuries.

“We’ve had some crashes because of the rain, but not because of the flooding,” he said.

Gore said officers had seen flooding on Solida and Wilgus roads and the area around Pedro.

He said one of the main things for drivers to remember is to never drive through running water.

“Find an alternate route around the water,” he said. “It doesn’t take as much water as your would think to displace the weight of a motor vehicle. Once you lose traction and go deeper into the water and the car will submerge.”

According to the National Weather Service, high pressure will bring a break from the rain today. The next weather system arrives early Saturday, which will bring a wintry mix of snow and sleet before it turns into rain.

We’re hoping some of this water goes down before we get the ice and snow,” Lynd said. “The ground is getting pretty saturated.”