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Rain, warmer weather could bring flooding

The potential for up to four inches of rain during this weekend’s warmup could cause minor flooding of low areas and water seepage into homes already prone to the problem.

Forecasters say the rain begins today and will occur throughout the weekend over a wide area that includes the Dayton/Cincinnati region, Northern Kentucky, and Central Ohio.

Temperatures should be in the 50s on Saturday and Sunday, melting all snow and ice in the area. As of Thursday, the winter season had seen 14.4 inches of snowfall.

With the melt of snow saturating the ground, the potential for localized flooding worsens, said WHIO-TV Meteorologist Rich Wirdzek. There’s also the potential of potholes developing as the temperature swings.

The steady to heavy rains could begin here Saturday afternoon, although the exact path of the moisture stream was unclear Thursday evening. Even if the greatest rainfall amounts are west of here in Indiana, the Dayton area could still get at least 2-inches to 3-inches with possibly four by the time it’s over.

People with basements prone to seepage should make preparations now, Wirdzek said, rolling back carpet and staying alert to any water that might enter the house. Rivers and streams should crest sometime Monday, he added.

Mike Ekberg, Manager of Water Resource Monitoring for the Miami Conservancy District, said Thursday the snow melting will add another half-inch to the expected four or so of rain. He said no flooding is expected in areas with District levies, but outlying areas not protected could see some flooding.

The Great Miami River is flowing slowly as of Thursday because most of the moisture over the past several weeks has been from snow. But that will change dramatically, Ekberg said.

The river flow in downtown Dayton was 1,470 cubic feet per second Thursday.

On Monday, according to the National Weather Service, peak flow could be 40,000 cubic feet per second, Ekberg said. That translates into a rise in river height of about eight feet.

WHIO-TV Chief Meteorologist Jamie Simpson said on Sunday, flooding is a possibility. There could be wind gusts above 40 mph, he added, and with all that rain, “anything stronger could pull some trees out of the ground.”

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