As temperatures rose this past week, warmer weather brought not only melting snow and ice, but also a lot of rain to the area — and that’s causing some flooding issues around the county.
Streams and back water areas are filled to capacity with water, with many overflowing onto low level areas. County roads leading into Switzerland County have several areas of standing water; but so far roads have been able to stay open to traffic.
Areas along the Ohio River like the Paul Ogle Riverfront Park in Vevay have been closed because of the water. Levels in the park have risen to the point that the playground area; the amphitheater area of the Main Stage of the Swiss Wine Festival; and the entire west side of the park where the boat ramp parking is; as well as the area where carnival rides are located during the festival — all under water.
To the north of the park, the two main auxiliary parking areas for festival visitors is under several feet of water — and of course there’s no access to the camping area or the boat dock.
Jason, one of the lock operators at the Markland Dam and Locks, said that the water level stood at 49.1-feet as of Tuesday afternoon, and levels were rising at a rate of three-tenths of a foot per hour.
Predictions for the week at the Markland Dam called for the river to crest yesterday (Wednesday, February 13th).
Jason said that estimates called for the Ohio River to be at 51.2 on Wednesday; then drop to 50.6 on Thursday; and then down to 48.8 on Friday. Official flood stage is 51-feet.
The National Weather Service was keeping its Flood Warning for this region in effect through Wednesday; and was calling for the possibility of snow flurries and high winds that could impact travel.
Warmer temperatures are expected to arrive today (Thursday), with a high of 53; but temperatures will again dip down into the 40s tonight, with a 50-percent chance of rain.
Tomorrow (Friday) calls for a 30-percent chance of rain; and then the National Weather Service is predicting a 40-percent chance of rain turning to snow on Saturday.
Sunday should be clear, but colder temperatures return, with a high of 37; and next week should continue that trend, with drier weather and temperatures in the mid 30s.