Widespread showers Saturday possibly laden with thunderstorms Saturday night will add to the region’s flooding risk and push already swollen local rivers to a crest on Sunday – all adding to woes south along the Ohio River.
A National Weather Service flood watch extends until 10 a.m. Sunday in Butler, Clark, Greene, Montgomery, Preble and Warren counties. But a more severe flood warning has been issued for a large band along the Ohio River.
On Friday, the Ohio National Guard activated some 40 soldiers from the 1191st Engineering Company to raise floodgates along the Ohio River in Portsmouth to help the city’s flood division and Scioto County emergency management.
High water in and around Cincinnati has made multiple roads impassable and inundated some businesses in flooding not experienced since 1997 floods claimed more than two dozen lives, most in Kentucky.
In the Miami Valley, only minor flooding is expected as rain will fall through early Sunday.
“Saturday evening we may see some very heavy rain and maybe a few thunderstorms. So it looks like the biggest concern for flooding is going to be Saturday night through Sunday,” said Brett Collar, Storm Center 7 meteorologist.
Flooding won’t be the only concern. The soft, saturated ground – coupled with wind gusts – may cause other troubles over the weekend.
“Sunday we do stay pretty windy, so we’ll watch for any impact to area trees here,” said Kirstie Zontini, Storm Center 7 meteorologist.
Though the rain is expected to end by Sunday morning, the creeks, streams and rivers will continue to rise due to the runoff. The Great Miami River is expected to crest after 2 p.m. Sunday afternoon from Sidney to Hamilton before receding by Monday, according to the National Weather Service.
Drivers should expect roadways prone to flooding will likely be covered and hazardous, Zontini said.
Despite the persistent rain, no precipitation records have fallen this month. Several days have seen record high temperatures in the region, including Tuesday’s 75 degrees in Dayton, shattering a the previous record of 69 set in 2016. Record daily highs were tied on Jan. 10, 11 and 12, according to preliminary National Weather Service data.
Highs Saturday and Sunday will reach the mid 50s with lows in the mid 40s. Sunshine is expected to return Monday with temperatures remaining warmer than normal in the low 50s.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.