Two days of steady rain on top of melting snow pushed the Hocking River past its banks and across low-lying farmland in Fairfield County.
Residents living near Hunters Run, which feeds into the Hocking River in Lancaster, watched the water overtop the embankment in places, leaving standing water in some basements.
“Right now even with the pump – one horsepower pump – about 2 foot of water in the cellar, ” said Sherry Waters.
“It came up quick yesterday. Then the second time I came out it was really up it was kind of shocking,” said Waters.
Downstream, the swollen, muddy Hocking River surrounded homes on Old Logan Road.
Jon Kochis, Fairfield County EMA Director, said, “This is where we see a lot of lowland river flooding due to flash floods.”
“We do many rescues in this part of the county because the low-lying residential homes that are down here,” added Kochis.
A motorist was rescued after his truck appeared to have been caught in flash flooding, and ended up in a ditch.
“Last night this motorist was pushed off the road from water. Berne Township Fire Department was able to rescue this individual,” said Kochis.
The high water was substantial where poorly drained flatland meets up with the beginning of the Hocking Hills in southeastern Fairfield County, causing backwater flooding along the smaller tributaries.
Mount Zion Road, south of Rock Mill Dam at the headwaters of the Hocking River northwest of Lancaster, is under up to 8 feet of water, Kochis said, “This will take weeks for that water to go down, and it will leave a muddy sediment mess that the township will have to clean up once or twice a year.”
The water is slowly receding in Fairfield County with dry weather, but the cleanup is just beginning where water inundated backyards in slow-drainage areas..
To the south in Hocking County, the Hocking River at Enterprise was forecast to crest at 15.77 feet. The flood stage is 12 feet. The river will remain above flood stage through Thursday.