BREAKING NEWS ON RIVER LEVEL
Bringing up uneasy memories of March 1, 1997, Pendleton County High School is hosting the 38th District tournament with a championship game scheduled on a day of heavy rains falling, swelling creeks over their banks and closing road. Too many residents are getting an uncomfortable feeling of repeating that day.
Presently, the Licking River is scheduled to crest at just above 29 feet on Saturday. Flood level is 33 feet. On Friday afternoon, the river stood steady at 28 feet.
Several residents were not taking any chances, though.
Northern Ky. resident Lynn Turner who has a weekend/summer vacation trailer on the Licking River off of 609 was moving it.
"We don't know where it's going to stop," she said. "Friday morning, they said crest at 22 feet. Friday afternoon 29 feet. We just feel it's the smart thing to do."
Neighbor Brad Thomas was helping move the trailer to his farm just up the road.
In a conversation with The Falmouth Outlook, Pendleton County Emergency Management Director Michael Moore indicated that the path of a predicted heavy rainstorm on Saturday will be a key. The National Weather Service updated their forecast on Friday evening. According to the forecast, the heavy rain on Saturday will stay north of Pendleton County.
"That path for the storm will help us out. We won't get the heavy rains in our watershed areas from south of Falmouth to Cave Run," indicated Moore. In fact, he indicated that river gauges were showing the river south of Falmouth had actually gone down on Friday evening.
Forecasts have indicated the Ohio River will crest four to five feet higher than originally projected. It had not reached the projected 59 feet since the 1997 flood when it crested at 64.7 feet.
The Butler area is seeing the fallout from the Ohio River. While the city is too far removed for it to be considered back up, the draining of the Licking River slows which then cause the water to disburse into the river bottoms as you enter Butler.
Shawn Watts lives on the lone, remaining home on the river side of Mill Street in Butler. He indicated that he is going to move some things around and put some sand bangs around his basement.
"We'll keep a watch on it and if it gets unsafe, we are out of here," he said.
Glen Thaxton of Thaxton Canoe Livery is a veteran of the 1997 flood and is hoping that it just gets to the basement of his business located off of U.S. 27 in Butler.
But while staying positive, he admitted, "There is always a concern."
One concern that local law enforcement and emergency personnel hope residents take very serious is to NOT drive in water that has overflowed roads. Having to already rescue one stranded motorist on Friday morning, drivers who take that risk not only put their life in danger but the lives of the emergency workers who have to rescue them.
The slogan, Don't Drown, Turn Around, carries a strong message during the spring floods that occur annually around this area!