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Lawrence County under emergency declaration

Kasich makes call due to Ohio flooding

COLUMBUS (AP) — Concerns about continued flooding and forecasts of more rain have prompted Ohio Gov. John Kasich   to issue an emergency declaration for 17 counties in the southern and eastern parts of the state.

The declaration made Saturday afternoon allows for the National Guard to be activated if needed.

In Lawrence county, the Ohio Department of Transportation closed State Route 650 and U.S. 52 at Hanging Rock due to flooding, and the route is restricted between County Road 10A and State Route 522 due to high water.

In addition, the City of Ironton raised its flood gates and has opened the McPherson Street access to U.S. 52, so lane restrictions are in effect on U.S. 52 at the McPherson/Rock Avenue overpass to accommodate traffic entering and exiting the highway.

Counties included in the declaration are Adams, Athens, Belmont, Brown, Clermont, Columbiana, Gallia, Hamilton, Hocking, Jackson, Jefferson, Lawrence, Monroe, Meigs, Muskingum, Scioto and Washington.

The National Weather Service says between 1 and 2 inches of rain is forecast beginning Saturday night into Sunday morning.

Meteorologist Andy Hatzos says the Ohio River at Cincinnati is expected to crest at 59.5 feet Monday morning. Saturday afternoon the river reached 57 feet, well above the 52-foot flood stage.