Opening of Delaware Dam causes trail flooding along Olentangy River

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COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Bike paths and trails along the Olentangy River are flooded after a dam north of here was open to alleviate flooding.

Northmoor and Whetstone parks, both along the river, had trails and bike paths covered with water Wednesday after the Army Corps of Engineers in Delaware County opened the Delaware Dam last week to help the flow of water.

A combination of the rain and the runoff caused the trails to flood, according to the Army Corps.

“At that point, it was 32 feet high and we’ve been waiting for the downstream conditions to improve,” a spokesman from the Army Corps of Engineers said. “As the river levels dropped, we have been releasing the maximum amount of water allowable.”

The Army Corp started shutting the water back on Tuesday, but the combination of new rain and water in the dam forced them to release more water Wednesday.

“We have been releasing water and the massive amount of rain has led to a lot of runoff,” the spokesman said.

On Wednesday, the water level at the dam crested at about 10 feet. By 1 p.m., it was 9.48 feet. The spokesman estimated the water level at the dam should continue to drop by half a foot per hour.

“We have been releasing all week downstream, but add rain to that and it pushes the gauge beyond control,” he said.

He said the flooding on the bike trail should recede pretty quickly, maybe even by tonight.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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