LOGAN, Ohio (WCMH)—Two days of heavy rain in southeastern Ohio pushed the Hocking River at Enterprise to 13.5 feet at 9 p.m. Thursday night, 1.5 feet above flood stage. A rainfall total of 2.92 inches was reported at Rockbridge.
The river is now expected to crest Friday afternoon at 15.3 feet, which spills onto side roads leading to US 33 near Enterprise, and will cause additional flooding around Rockbridge. High water will also affect SR 93 south of Logan, and low-lying areas around Sugar Grove in Fairfield County.
Flood warnings have been extended south of Columbus in Pickaway, Fairfield, Ross, Hocking and Pike counties until 5:45 a.m. on Friday, following an additonal inch of rain or more falling on saturated ground.
Flooding will likely continue into the weekend as the runoff drains into the river systems.
Strong winds caused pockets of damage in Coshocton and Clark counties in a a squall line. An EF0 tornado was confirmed in northwestern Clark County (80-85 mph winds) that traveled for 7 miles, ending 5 miles northwest of South Charleston Thursday afternoon. A downburst (70 mph) in Coshocton County a few hours later damaged a barn.
The temperature soared to the low 60s ahead of a cold front Thursday afternoon, breaking a record at Columbus, when the thermometer reached 62 degrees, breaking the 1925 daily-record by one degree.
A wind advisory was issued for much of Ohio until daybreak on Friday, as winds are expected to range from 20 to 25 mph, with gusts to 45 mph in some areas overnight behind a cold front. The tumbling temperatures will cause icy patches in the morning, as readings fall into the 20s.
“Hopefully some of the water is going to move out, if we do get that additional inch of rain,” said Logan Fire Chief Brian Robertson. Minor flooding is anticipated along the Hocking River downstream in Athens County.
Cesalie Gustafson, Hocking County EMA Director, commented on the importance of the river gauge at Enterprise when it comes flood warnings.
“The value of this gaging station on the Hocking Rover is so we know how high it’s going to end up coming up,” she said.
Chief Robertson has been monitoring creeks feeding into the river, but said water levels were not threatening any homes at the time. Brenna Brooks, a Logan resident, added, “Some people just stay home, wait it out and see how it goes.”