SIDNEY — The city of Sidney deactivated its Flood Action Plan Tuesday at 2:30 p.m. as the Great Miami River had receded to a level of 10.39 feet, according to Gary Clough, assistant city manager/public works director.
Only minor flooding issues have been reported; no major damage was recorded, Clough said. City Parks and Recreation staff have blocked off Flanagan, Berger and the lower half of Roadside parks because of high water. Tawawa Park is open. In addition, Field 7 at Custenborder is under water; the rest of fields and trails are safe for access. The low-flow bridge at Johnston Park is underwater, but the parking lot is open and safe at this time, Clough said Tuesday afternoon.
The Great Miami River crested about 3 a.m. Tuesday at 11.02 feet, Police Chief Will Balling said Tuesday morning.
The river had been receding since that time; it was at 10.78 feet at 8:30 a.m. With mostly dry weather forecast for Tuesday and the rest of the week, it is expected that the river will continue to recede, Balling said.
The city initiated its Flood Action Plan when the river reached 10.5 feet at 8 p.m. Monday, and city officials said they would continue to follow the plan until the river recedes below 10.5 feet.
In a news release issued Monday night, City Manager Mark Cundiff said, “Due to the recent heavy rains we have, and are receiving, the Great Miami River is rising. Therefore, the city of Sidney has initiated the city’s Flood Action Plan. The Flood Action Plan is initiated when the Great Miami River reaches 10.5 feet. At 11.5 feet areas near Custenborder Field may see some minor flooding.”
For more information on the city’s Flood Action Plan, visit the city’s website at www.sidneyoh.com.
Flooding problems began over the weekend as rain continued to fall. The National Weather Service (NWS) in Wilmington issued a flood warning for the Great Miami River at Sidney from Sunday afternoon to late Tuesday night.
The NWS said the river was at 8.6 feet at 9 a.m. Sunday; flood stage is 10 feet. Minor flooding was forecast. The NWS predicted the river would rise above flood stage by late Sunday afternoon and would rise to near 11.3 feet by early Tuesday morning. The river will fall below flood stage late Tuesday night.
At stages near 10 feet, the river approaches the bank on the west side of Custenborder Field. At stages above 10 feet, city officials begin flood operations, the NWS said.
According to the city of Sidney’s Flood Action Plan, at a river level of 11.1 feet, minor flooding will occur. At this river level, water is moving at a flow rate of 63,472 gallons per second. The river breaches the bank on the west side of Custenborder Field near the raw water pump station.
High water also was reported at numerous locations in the county Sunday and Monday, according to the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office. Among those was an incident at 5:51 p.m. when Lockington Fire and Houston Rescue were called to 4000 block of Patterson-Halpin Road for a car in the water with two people inside. The occupants were able to get out. At 5:40 p.m. the same day, a vehicle stalled after driving through water in the 3000 block Patterson-Halpin Road.
There were even more high-water reports Monday afternoon and evening. Among these were Houston Road, which was closed between Pampel and Patterson-Halpin roads, and Southland Road, which was closed in the 8000 block.
Although the rain may have stopped, Miami Conservancy District staff continues to monitor river levels, taking the necessary steps to keep the protected riverfront cities safe from flooding from the Great Miami River, the MCD said Tuesday afternoon.
Staff has been closing floodgates as necessary; and monitoring levees, dams, and relief wells. The flood protection system is working as designed, says Kurt Rinehart, MCD chief engineer.
Storm sewers allow water to run off city streets into the river. As the river rises, however, MCD closes floodgates on the storm sewers to prevent the river from flowing back into the storm sewer system and potentially flooding areas protected by a levee.
“We receive calls from people concerned that closing the floodgate will potentially flood their neighborhood somehow,” Rinehart said. “It’s important to remember that closing a floodgate has no impact on river levels, MCD dams or the floodplain. The only impact is the prevention of river water backing up into a city if we didn’t close a floodgate.”
The MCD staff closed floodgates in several cities, including Piqua and Troy, and other cities farther south.
All five of MCD’s dams, including Lockington, are storing floodwaters. Storage at the dams begins when the water rises above the conduits (concrete openings) at the dams, agency officials said.
Floodwater storage at Lockington Dam as of 12:30 p.m. Monday was 25.99 feet (storage begins at 12 feet; top of the dam is 78 feet).
The MCD flood protection system is designed to protect to the 1913 flood level plus 40 percent. During the Great Flood of 1913, the region received between 9 and 11 inches of rain between March 23 and 25.
The writer may be contacted at 937-538-4823.