City to close floodgate

Published 10:46 am Thursday, March 10, 2011

As rain continues to fall, Ironton city officials are planning to close the first of the city’s floodgates this afternoon.
Mayor Rich Blankenship said workers will be closing the gate at Second Street and Storms Creek beginning around 3 or 4 p.m. today.
When the floodgate is closed, the only access to north Ironton will be McPherson Street. The route includes an unguarded railroad crossing, but the mayor said a police officer will be stationed at the crossing while the floodgate is up.
“We want to emphasize safety while crossing that railroad,” Blankenship said. “We will have an officer there. We urge extreme caution obviously for that crossing.”
“At that crossing, make sure (you) obey that officer,” Street superintendent Mike Pemberton added. “Don’t try to beat that train.”
The mayor said that part of the city’s fire department will be stationed at the elementary/middle school on Delaware Street, so the department will have quick access to north Ironton in the event of a fire.
City officials have been working closely with school officials, the mayor said.
“It’s my understanding that they will close school while the gates are up,” Blankenship said.
Superintendent Dean Nance confirmed that all schools in the district will be closed while the gate is up.
Pemberton said the Ohio River is expected to crest at 52 feet Sunday or Monday. Flood stage is 50 feet, he said.
“Hopefully we can take it down Monday so that they can have school Tuesday,” Pemberton said.

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