Local News

County declares emergency

Nikki Blankenship
Scioto County Candor

The Scioto County Commissioners have declared an emergency in order to mitigate rising river waters.
Late this afternoon, Scioto County Commissioners declared the local emergency “to facilitate the availability of Ohio Army National Guard 1191st Engineering Company out of Portsmouth to help the City of Portsmouth with installation of Flood Gates. Scioto Emergency Management Agency (EMA) received a request from City of Portsmouth Flood Defense today for help from the National Guard with ensuring that gates 1-4 are installed ahead of expected Ohio River crests forecast to be near 56’ Wednesday,” information provided by Commissioner Bryan Davis explained. “EMA working with the State Emergency Operations Center received approval for troops to deploy this evening. Additional rainfall forecast for the Ohio River Valley may see crests forecast by hydrologists revised upwards creating a need to install additional flood gates in the flood defense system of the city.”
Just before 7 p.m., Portsmouth City Councilman Sean Dunne explained that the Second Street Bridge crossing the Scioto River in Portsmouth had been closed.
“Flood mitigation missions for the Ohio Army National Guard prevent loss of life and property in times when moderate to severe flooding is occurring along the Ohio River. The process of receiving help from the National Guard involves County Commissioners declaring a local emergency and the Governor declaring a state emergency to facilitate their capability to help local government,” the Commissioners explained.
The County is working with several other entities including the CIty of Portsmouth Flood Defense, EMA and Ohio National Guard to ensure the wellbeing of the community.
“The City of Portsmouth Flood Defense, Emergency Management and the Ohio Army National Guard 1191st Engineering Company at Portsmouth have trained jointly for this mission to ensure the safety and welfare of the citizens of Scioto County. Each of the flood gates which are part of the flood defense system were installed with guard help during the past 2 years. This training will be put to good use in this real life mission that will see the Ohio River crest only a few feet from the crest that saw devastating flooding in March of 1997. That flood event saw $25 million dollars in response and recovery costs for Scioto County alone,” Davis explained.
Davis further added that the flood wall has saved the community millions of dollars by preventing flood losses such as those that Portsmouth suffered as a result of the 1937 flood. The flood wall is maintained through a flood levy that Davis explained has never failed renewal.

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This is the Second Street Bridge as of 4:30 2/22/2018

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