Rain, Rain, But No (Big) Flood

Posted on:

< < Back to
Photo Courtesy of the National Weather Service

ATHENS— After a week of preparation in Athens County in anticipation for a major flood event, there is no longer a flood threat from the Hocking River, according to data from the National Weather Service.

At the end of last week, officials were preparing for the Hocking River to crest at 25.2 feet overnight Sunday, into tomorrow morning. Now, the river is expected to crest at about 17.1 feet, below flood stage.

Athens Mayor, Steve Patterson said the city was prepared for the worst and closed many roads and parts of the bike path. He said the Athens Fire Department was prepared to perform rescues if necessary. The Athens Police Department and Ohio University Police Department were prepared to staff more people tomorrow. Athens Middle School was scheduled to be a shelter for those affected by flood waters.

“With the very first projection that we received as a city, the initial projection for tonight and tomorrow was going to be 25 plus feet,” Mayor Patterson said. “That, yes, would have been the second highest flood event in recorded history in the Athens area.”

Harmony Road, off S.R. 50, on February 25. (Chelsea Sick / For WOUB News)

Even though the Hocking river will not cause major threats to the Athens area, some roads are still closed due to lingering flood waters. Harmony Road off of State Route 50, is still flooded, leaving surrounding homeowners stranded in or away from their homes.

Simeon Robe lives on Harmony Road and he said this flooding is a recurring problem. For the last couple of weeks, he and his roommates have had difficulty getting to their home.

“Friday we were flooded in. I came in pretty late that night, probably around 11, and the water was about a foot-and-a-half-deep,” Robe said. “And that was right about the level you can’t drive through anymore, you have to park a ways away. ”

The Hocking River and small streams are still above normal levels, so be cautious and do not risk getting in the water, or driving through it.

“As enticing as it may look, I would highly discourage anyone from getting in the water,” Patterson said. “It is still flowing high.”

The Hocking River is set to crest at about midnight Sunday before it begins to recede.