- Sharahn D. Boykin and M. David Goodwin Staff Writers
A weekend of heavy rain, strong winds and record warm temperatures left pockets of the Dayton metropolitan dealing with severe flooding, only to be replaced this week with a winter blast of snow showers that will arrive later tonight.
A total of 2.46 inches of rain fell at the Dayton International Airport on Saturday, breaking the previous record of 1.55 inches set in 1998, according to WHIO-TV meteorologist McCall Vrydaghs.
The region also tied a 46-year-old record high of 65 degrees at airport at 10:30 p.m. on Saturday, and tied the record high at 4:25 a.m. on Sunday at 62 degrees. Wind gusts registered more than 70 mph.
But the area is not out of the clear for severe flooding. The National Weather Service on Sunday night issued three flood warnings through 6 a.m. Wednesday for the region. Sixteen counties in Indiana and central Ohio, including Darke, Champaign, Clark, Miami and Preble, have a flood warning in effect until Monday morning. Emergency management officials said a combination of melted snow and heavy rain flooded many secondary roads.
The Great Miami River below Miamisburg was at 17.8 feet at 2 p.m. Sunday, and the Weather Service said the river will rise to 20 feet sometime today before falling below flood stage on about midnight Tuesday.
The Great Miami River at Taylorsville was at 26.5 feet, more than 4 feet about the flood stage. The river is expected to rise to 28.6 feet later today and will not begin to recede until early Christmas day. The weather service said when the river reaches near 30 feet, high water will force closing state Routes 571 and 202.
It noted that flood walls and levees protect up to a stage of 60 feet, but some communities along the Interstate 70 corridor and near Huber Heights experienced flooding of homes.
The rain, high temperatures and winds melted snow, pushing water over banks and flooding streets and neighborhoods.
The Great Miami River flooded near Troy on Sunday and reached its highest point in half a century. Water levels reached 16.54 feet Sunday morning and were expected to crest at 17 feet Sunday night. The highest mark of 16.40 feet was recorded June 11, 1958.
In Clayton, residents on North County Line Road along the Montgomery and Miami county borders dealt with high waters in their yards. The flooding is something they often experience in the spring, but not days before Christmas.
William Boegel said his driveway had about one foot of water.
“We’ve lived here about 21 years and every time we get a real hard rain, we get this problem,” he said. “Our house is completely surrounded by water, and it’s approximately anywhere from a foot to a foot and a half deep all the way around.
“I have sump pumps that are running pretty much around the clock right now.”
Jerry Baker said water turned his yard into a small pond with his house as an island. He said the rainwater came fast.
“It runs all the way around the house,” he said. “We keep waiting for the ducks to land in the yard; and they do that in the spring. But this is a little weird for December.”
He said the flooding literally put a damper on his outdoor decorations.
“Most of our Christmas lights have quit working, because all the breakers have flipped because of the shorts coming up through the water,” Baker said.
Much colder and quieter weather, with the exceptions of a few snow showers, is expected this week, according to Vrydaghs.
According to the weather service, emergency management, law enforcement and Ohio Department of Transportation officials reported many road closures in the region included in the flood watch due to high water.