Flood Safety: 3 Years Since Flash Flooding on I-70

I-70 flooding in Huber Heights.
I-70 flooding in Huber Heights. (ReportIt photo)

HUBER HEIGHTS, Ohio (WDTN) Three years ago flash flooding stalled traffic on I-70 when 2 to 5 inches of rain fell
in a short period of time. Flash flooding can happen without much notice.

According to the National Weather Service flooding is the second deadliest weather related hazard. Water is powerful when it’s moving and it doesn’t take much to cause big problems.

It may look like a make shift pond but underneath all this water is I70. Back in May of 2014 too much water in a short period of time overwhelmed the system resulting in flash flooding. Battalion Chief Michael Muhl with Huber Heights Fire department remembers it was an all hands on deck situation.

“The boats that were active that night ran for about an 8-9 hour period. First evacuating people off I 70 then responding to local jurisdictions where people were trapped in apartment buildings,” Battalion Chief Michael Muhl says.

While Muhl says eight hours of water rescue is uncommon in the area his team goes through training each year in order to be ready for the next event.

Flash flooding and high water can occur at a moments notice and in order to stay safe finding an alternative route is the best option.

“If you see moving water don’t assume you can get through it don’t assume your vehicle can get through it,” says Muhl.

Not only may the road be washed away – your vehicle could be as well. Fast flowing water is powerful. It only takes six inches of water for a car to float away and 2 feet of water to sweep away a truck.

But it’s not only flash flooding that can cause problems. Due to our recent rainfall this month waterways are swelled and rivers are flowing faster than usual. Just last week a couple of people in kayaks had to be rescued from the Stillwater river when they were stuck in debris.

“Moving water can be very dangerous. If the local liveries or canoe rental is closed that probably means it’s unsafe for you to take your personal kayak out on the river. Because  the current will be so swift or there will be other hazards,” Muhl explains.

Battalion Chief Muhl also recommends always wearing a life jacket and taking action immediately when weather warnings are issued. Getting off the water as soon as possible can really make a big difference.

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