Water rises, but access still open in northern Tuscarawas County

March 21, 2008

Water behind Dover Dam is rising beyond earlier projections in northern Tuscarawas County and will lead to additional road closings on Friday (March 21), including the closing of the southern portion of Dover-Zoar Rd.

Officials projected that Dover-Zoar Rd. (Tuscarawas County Rd. 82) would close from the Zoar Levee south to Canal Rd. (County Rd. 81) early Friday evening, cutting off access from the village of Zoar to the south.

However, the Tuscarawas County Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency (HS/EMA) reported Friday morning that residents in the Zoar and Wilkshire Hills region will not be isolated and should be prepared to use three alternate routes. Those routes are located at North Orchard Rd. (Tuscarawas County Rd. 103) and Glen Park Dr. (Lawrence Township Rd. 617), Dover-Zoar Rd. north of Zoar to Rt. 800 north and Mineral-Zoar Rd. (Sandy Township Rd. 387A) to Rt. 800 north.

An official notification was sent Friday through the Reverse 911 telephone system to more than 3,500 residences, businesses and other locations in the region to update them about the situation.

Patty Levengood, director of the Tuscarawas County HS/EMA, said that based on the increased rise in floodwaters on Thursday night (March 20), a Reverse 911 notification also was sent to more than 50 residences in the Rt. 800 region north of Dover Dam to inform them about the impending closing of Rt. 800 near Rt. 212.

Officials of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) said Thursday that it appeared water levels would crest earlier than originally projected, and would be at lower levels than initially expected behind Beach City, Bolivar and Dover dams. However, updated information showed Friday that water levels were rising more rapidly behind Dover dam than initially anticipated.

The connection at North Orchard Rd. and Glen Park Dr. over Bolivar Dam to Gracemont and Sherman Church Rds. is open for passenger vehicle use only and is not expected to be covered by water if current projections are met. Officials also stressed that the area remain clear except for through-traffic use only.

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

The USACE also said that the increased rise in floodwaters established a new record for retention behind Atwood Dam.

Levengood said any residents who sustain damage to their properties from the flooding should report it to the county's Emergency Operations Center by calling (330) 308-6655.

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.

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


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