USGS Crews Measure Heavy Flooding in Ohio

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U.S. Geological Survey field crews are measuring heavy flooding in the Columbus and Newark Ohio areas, as well as the northwest part of the state.

Intense rainfall over a period of multiple days has caused major flooding, resulting in multiple water rescues throughout the Newark area.

Five USGS crews are measuring high flows and verifying streamgage operations on the Licking, Blanchard, Big Walnut, Sandusky, Portage, Paint and Ottawa River basins. Preliminary data show the measurement made today on the Sandusky River near Fremont was the highest in 40 years. USGS crews are making special flood measurements on the South Fork Licking River near Buckeye Lake, as floodwaters have closed Interstate 70. This information is critical for emergency managers to make informed decisions on when to re-open roads to best keep the public safe.

Two USGS streamgages have been impacted by the floodwater and debris, and crews have already repaired one of the gages. The other will be repaired once it is safe to do so. All other streamgages are fully operational and have not been impacted by the flood at this time.

USGS crews will keep tracking the movement of the floodwaters as rains continue and the water moves downstream. This information is vital for resource managers and emergency responders to help protect life and property. The USGS has coordinated efforts with the Army Corps of Engineers, the National Weather Service, the Ohio Water Development Authority, Licking County, the Cities of Newark, Findlay, Ottawa and Kalida and several other local and state partners.

There are about 290 USGS-operated streamgages in Ohio that measure water levels, streamflow and rainfall. When flooding occurs, USGS crews make numerous discharge measurements to verify the data USGS provides to federal, state and local agencies, as well as to the public.

For more than 125 years, the USGS has monitored flow in selected streams and rivers across the United States. The information is routinely used for water supply and management, monitoring floods and droughts, bridge and road design, determination of flood risk, and for many recreational activities.

Access current flood and high flow conditions across the country by visiting the USGS WaterWatch website. Receive instant, customized updates about water conditions in your area via text message or email by signing up for USGS WaterAlert. See where floodwaters go by following a stream trace at Streamer. View water data on your mobile device. Learn how a USGS streamgage works