Earlier crests, lower water levels projected in Tuscarawas County

March 21, 2008

The news about high water levels in northern Tuscarawas County has improved slightly.

The Tuscarawas County Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency (HS/EMA) announced Thursday morning (March 20) that water levels now are projected to crest earlier and a lower levels than initially expected behind Beach City, Bolivar and Dover dams.

The region has received less rainfall than initially forecast, which is expected to lead to crests this weekend behind the dams, according to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE). Crests are expected to occur behind Bolivar Dam on Friday (March 21), behind Beach City Dam on Saturday (March 22) and behind Dover Dam on Sunday (March 23). The projected crests are several feet below the original estimates, but still will produce road closings. Less than one inch of rain is predicted by the National Weather Service to fall Friday in the region, but that should not have a negative impact on the current crest projections, according to the USACE.

One of the primary access routes in the region, Dover-Zoar Rd (Tuscarawas County Rd. 82), is expected to remain open based on the reduced amounts of water expected, said Patty Levengood, Tuscarawas County HS/EMA director.

Levengood said the northbound I-77 interchange at Rt. 212 at Wilkshire Hills has been closed by floodwaters and Rt. 800 south of Mineral City was expected to close sometime Thursday (March 20). The village of Zoarville also was expected to be isolated sometime Thursday.

Access to the Wilkshire Hills area remains open through a connection between North Orchard Rd. (Tuscarawas County Rd. 103) and Glen Park Dr. (Lawrence Township Rd. 617) over Bolivar Dam to Gracemont and Sherman Church Rds. The connection is open for passenger vehicle use only and is not expected to be covered by water if current projections are met. Officials also requested that the area remain clear except for through-traffic use only. Residents and businesses in the region officially were notified Wednesday (March 19) that access would be maintained through the crests of the floodwaters.

Rt. 800 north of Mineral City also is expected to remain open throughout the increased water levels.

With the news projections, the USACE said it now does not expect new records to be established at Atwood, Dover and Leesville dams for floodwaters retained behind those dams. Crests are expected Friday behind Leesville Dam and around Saturday behind Atwood Dam.

Levengood stressed that any residents who sustain damage to their properties from the flooding to report it to the county's Emergency Operations Center by calling (330) 308-6655. Tuscarawas County commissioners approved an emergency declaration on Thursday, which makes the county eligible for possible state assistance and federal funding.

Road closing information is available by calling the Tuscarawas County HS/EMA Emergency Information Line at (330) 339-7838. Road closings also have been posted on the county sheriff's website at www.co.tuscarawas.oh.us/sheriff and other information will be posted as needed on the HS/EMA website at www.co.tuscarawas.oh.us/EMA.

Officials said updated information on water levels behind the area dams are available online by visiting the USACE website at www.lrh-wc.usace.army.mil/wc/musns.htm or by using a link to that website off www.mwcdlakes.com.

Levengood said residents will be notified of any potential isolation issues through the county's Reverse 911 communication system, in which telephone calls are placed to individual residences, businesses and other locations with official information and warnings.

CONTACT:
Darrin Lautenschleger
Public Information Administrator
Toll-free: (877) 363-8500

 

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