Ohio River

ohio river safety
Pete Rightmire / WVXU

Each year thousands of recreational boaters enjoy our stretch of the Ohio River. But boaters out on the water for fun have to share the river with commercial traffic, typically towboats that, with their barges, can reach up to 1,200-feet long – more than the length of an aircraft carrier.

Bill Rinehart / WVXU

Hamilton County may have enough flood damage to qualify for federal and state disaster aid. Emergency Management Director Nick Crossley says one building was destroyed, 59 had major damage, and more than 350 had minor damage.

flooded streets in the East End, house in distance
Bill Rinehart / WVXU

Time is running out to report flood damage in Hamilton County. Ryan McEwan with Emergency Management said the agency wants reports in by Wednesday so they can turn them over to the state by Friday.

flooded fields seen through trees
Bill Rinehart / WVXU

The Ohio River is slowly falling back to pre-flood levels. As communities start to clean up, there are some calling for a fresh look at how human activity affects flooding.

Jay Hanselman / WVXU

Many people associate Harsha Lake at East Fork State Park in Clermont County with boating and recreation. While those activities are important, that's not the reason it was built.

Bill Rinehart / WVXU

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.

Bill Rinehart / WVXU

There isn't a flood damage estimate for Hamilton County yet. Emergency Management Agency officials haven't been able to start counting the number of properties affected by high water, or the cost of repairing properties and infrastructure. The water is still too high.

Bill Rinehart

The National Weather Service forecasts the Ohio River at Cincinnati to crest Sunday afternoon at 60.6 feet. Flood stage is 52 feet.

Bill Rinehart / WVXU

Update from the National Weather Service 8:21 a.m. Feb. 25:

Latest forecast for the Ohio River at Cincinnati has a crest occurring this afternoon at approximately 60.6 ft. Current stage is nearing 60 ft. After the crest this afternoon, levels should begin going back down.

Bill Rinehart / WVXU

When the Ohio River floods, water backs up into other rivers and streams including the Little Miami, Licking, and the Mill Creek. Cincinnati has infrastructure in place to prevent damage along one of the area's most developed waterways.

Ohio River under a bridge
Bill Rinehart / WVXU

The National Weather Service predicts the Ohio River at Cincinnati will reach 59.5' by Tuesday, a level the river hasn't seen since the flood of 1997.

Bill Rinehart / WVXU

Updated at 2:37 p.m.

The Ohio River continues to rise. The National Weather Service says as of midday Tuesday, it was at 55.2 feet and expected to rise to 55.5 feet before cresting in the evening.  Earlier forecasts put the crest at 56.1 feet coming early Wednesday morning.

Tana Weingartner / WVXU

Covington plans to take greater steps in protecting the monarch butterfly and improving water quality in Northern Kentucky. These are the designated topics for Covington Neighborhood Collaborative's annual summit this Saturday.

Provided

Across the Ohio River and back, 900 yards. That's the route and length of the upcoming Great Ohio River Swim. Started in 2007, this year's event will be held in honor of Bill Keating, Jr., a strong supporter of the swim. Mr. Keating lost his battle with brain cancer earlier this year.

wikipedia.org

President Trump will come to Cincinnati's Rivertowne Marina on the banks of the Ohio River Wednesday afternoon for a speech on the nation's inland waterways.

It's the president's first stop on a nationwide campaign to sell the $1 trillion nationwide infrastructure plan he rolled out at the White House Monday.

Bill Rinehart / WVXU

Part of the Newport floodwall has slipped but the city manager says it's nothing to worry about. Tom Fromme says the patch of hillside between the Taylor Southgate bridge and the Licking River started to slide a few months ago, but has become more visible recently.

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This spring a camera will begin taking pictures of the Ohio River at California, Kentucky to identify rare but toxic algal blooms as much as a day before they become a danger to drinking water.

A partnership between Thomas More College, Northern Kentucky University, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Commission (ORSANCO) is developing a network of cameras that will take pictures of the Ohio River and analyze the information in a computer algorithm.

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The 15th annual Ohio River Paddlefest takes place this Saturday. 

WVXU

On New Year’s Eve 15 years ago, Cincinnati jazz lovers weren’t celebrating. They were about to lose their favorite station, WNOP-AM, which last broadcast jazz on Dec. 31, 2000.

For 40 years, the crazy little station filled the airwaves with Duke Ellington, Dave Brubeck, Oscar Peterson, Wes Montgomery, Buddy Rich, Count Basie, Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald and other jazz giants.

It was unlike any other station in Cincinnati – or possibly the nation. Who else broadcast from three huge oil tanks welded together, floating on the Ohio River on the Newport shore.

They called it “The Jazz Ark.”

Bill Rinehart / WVXU

Cincinnati received a record amount of rain Sunday.  National Weather Service Meteorologist Brian Haines says the old record for December 27 was set more than 100 years ago.

Provided, Camping and Education Foundation

  The second annual Great River Race on the Ohio takes place October 18. The event is designed to support outdoor programs for students that help them develop an appreciation for nature and our environment and learn how to achieve in life. 

Bill Rinehart / WVXU

A harmful blue-green algae bloom is still plaguing the Ohio River, and a Kentucky biologist says it doesn't look like that will change soon. 

Provided / ORSANCO

Volunteers will be out this weekend with trash bags and gloves to help clean up the banks of the Ohio and Kentucky rivers. 

The efforts are part of the Ohio River Sweep, which takes place in six states along 3,000 miles of shoreline of the Ohio River and its tributaries.

Lisa Cochran with the Ohio River Valley Water Sanitation Commission, ORSANCO, says when the effort started in 1989, there were big items like cars and refrigerators along the river banks.  But she says while volunteers still find a few tires, most of the trash today is smaller.

UPDATE:  Leaders of the Ohio River Paddlefest announced Thursday night that the annual Paddle on the Ohio scheduled for Saturday, June 20 has been canceled due to safety concerns.  The new date is Sunday, August 2.   Over 2,000 paddlers were expected to participate in the annual 8.2 mile paddle from Coney Island to the Cincinnati Public Landing.  

Saturday's Finish Line Festival at Yeatman's Cove also is canceled.

The Roots on the River Music & Outdoor Festival at Coney Island on Friday June 19 is still ON from 4-midnight with  music, SUP lessons, outdoor adventure vendors of all kinds, gear swap, kayak fishing contest, silent auction, etc.  Admission is free with a parking charge.

  Original Post: 

The Ohio River Paddlefest Weekend starts this Thursday with the Kids Outdoor Adventure Expo, followed-up by the Ohio River Outdoor Music Festival and the Ohio River Paddlefest. Saturday morning the U.S. Coast Guard will close the Ohio River to commercial and power boat traffic as paddlers launch more than 1,400 canoes, kayaks and human powered boats for a trip down river.

The Ohio River is one of our greatest resources, the reason Cincinnati is even here in the first place. And each year thousands of recreational boaters enjoy the river. But while being out on the water is a great time, there are dangers involved, especially with the amount of commercial traffic that travels our stretch of the Ohio.

**The rescheduled Global Water Dances event will happen on Saturday, August 2 at 11am along the Serpentine Wall in Cincinnati**

Cincinnati again joins in the Global Water Dances movement to bring awareness of the need for healthy, fresh water.

Provided

The Banks on the Cincinnati riverfront broke ground in the spring of 2008. Phase I was completed last year, construction for Phase II is now well underway, and plans are being confirmed for the third phase of the project.

Bill Rinehart / WVXU

Seasonal flooding comes as no surprise to Tristate officials, who have ordered a handful of road closures, and are preparing to close more as the Ohio River rises.  And the flooding has shined a spotlight on the relative isolation of a pair of Hamilton County communities.

River levels around Hamilton County are already high, and with more rain today and tomorrow, the sheriff's office and county engineer are preparing to close more roads.  Parts of Four Mile, Eight Mile, Debolt and Kellogg had water standing on them earlier this week.

Bill Rinehart / WVXU

**Updated March 9**

The Ohio River crested at 53 feet, Sunday, according to the Associated Press.  That's one foot above flood stage.  The river level is expected to fall slowly through the rest of the week.  The National Weather Service is predicting rain on Tuesday, and again Thursday and Friday.

**Original story** 

With plenty of rain and snow this week, area rivers are expected to rise quickly.

Storm Water Management Utility / City of Cincinnati

City of Cincinnati workers spent Tuesday clearing storm water pipes and manholes of leaves, debris and trash. With lots of melting snow, rain and more snow in the forecast, they're worried about flooding.

Principle engineer of the Storm Water Management Utility, Eric Saylor, put it in perspective. "If we did nothing, basically you'd have overland street flooding. With colder temperatures you would have "ponding" around some of the inlets which could, of course, lead to icing, so it becomes a safety hazard as well."

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