EAST LIVERPOOL, Ohio (WKBN) – About a mile stretch of River Road along the Ohio River in East Liverpool is closed until further notice.
The river is about 20 feet higher than normal, with water already flowing across roads, gushing out of manholes and covering parts of the barge.
“Another 6 feet of water puts our feet in the water,” said Safety Service Director Brian Allan.
At least one foot of water is expected on River Road when water levels rise this weekend. Good amounts of rain are on the way with flood warnings out for parts of Columbiana County.
Water levels this high haven’t happened in quite a while. Will Miller, manager of TransMontaigne Terminal Inc., has worked for the city almost 18 years. He says it last flooded in 2004, then before that in 1996.
The city usually relies on the lock and dam system on the river to keep water down.
But this time, there’s not much they can do to stop it, only wait until water levels fall. Still, precautions are being taken before the rain arrives.
“They have a plan in place, we have a plan in place, we all have to work together and make the best of it,” Allan said.
Some businesses that run along the bank are also closed down. Workers spent the afternoon moving equipment off the bank and protecting product in the building.
“We get thrash pumps ready for any water that might percolate in there,” Miller said.
Even crews on the ships are docked until the water level falls.
Luckily, there are only a few homes on this stretch of the road. Most of them are high enough off the river that they won’t see flooding, but the people who live in them should still be careful when heading out.
If you see water on the road, don’t drive through it.
You can take route 39/30 that runs along River Road, well above the water.
City officials hope the road will be back up and running by Monday.