COSHOCTON, Ohio (WCMH) — The Muskingum River at Coshocton crested nearly two feet above flood stage earlier this week, and is still a foot above flood stage as of Friday afternoon.
Steady rain and melting snow caused creeks and rivers to rise substantially starting on Tuesday. High water forced the closure of State Route 16 west of the city of Coshocton, which covered the eastbound and westbound lanes under 2 to 3 feet of water. The highway reopened to traffic Wednesday afternoon around 4 p.m.
Coshocton County EMA Director Robbie McMasters reported that Coshocton County Route 1 was still closed Friday, at the intersection with State Route 83 North, after “the water level of Millcreek rose significantly between the hours of 8 a.m. and 12 p.m. on Tuesday.”
County Road 6 near the Muskingum County line is also closed due to high water, McMasters said. “Four drivers drove into the high water on CR 6, requiring rescue. The cars remained in the water until it receded and they could be removed on Wednesday.”
McMasters noted that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is controlling water levels along area rivers at Mohawk Dam and Wills Creek to allow the pools to drain slowly, without causing worsening issues. He said that “several roads behind both dams remain closed due to high water.”
The absence of any important precipitation in the coming days will allow water levels to drop gradually, with only light snow expected late on Sunday.
He reminded motorists who encounter flooded roads that “12 inches of moving water can carry away a small car, and 2 feet of moving water can carry away most vehicles. If you drive into high water you not only endanger yourself but the lives of first responders who will respond if you become stranded and needing rescue.
“If you drive around a ‘Road Closed’ sign into high water and become stranded, you can be cited by law enforcement,” said McMasters.