MOUNT VERNON — Monitoring high water level situations kept the Knox County Emergency Management Agency busy this weekend. But everything was under control according to EMA Director Brian Hess.
The agency spent the weekend monitoring river and stream water levels and road closings.
“We monitored all of our flood checkpoints,” Hess said. “These are the areas of the rivers where it normally gets high. I spent all day Saturday checking and monitoring them.”
Hess said the county did not have to open any emergency shelters or evacuate any areas due to high water. He noted the county was prepared to open shelters and/or do evacuations if it had been necessary. The water levels did not get high enough to warrant that kind of action, he said. Water levels in both the Kokosing and Mohican rivers were high but not over the banks in any monitored place.
“As far as road closures on the county level, to my knowledge, we only had one,” Hess added. “That was Lower Gambier Road. We expect that might be open again soon, maybe sometime today. With the rain we had last week and the snow melt we expected more problems than we had.”
Hess said they are expecting only a little more rain over the next few days but that was not their main concern at this time. Ground saturation was the biggest problem facing the county right now.
“We are still in a monitoring situation,” he said. “Overall, we reacted well in the county. Our ground is saturated and there is a concern for trees uprooting because the ground is going to be saturated during the rest of the spring.”
Hess said he also went to Mohawk Dam to check it and found the water level there to be high.
“I haven’t heard anything from the Corps of Army Engineers about closing the dam because of the high water,” Hess said. “The water levels were up and that is the only thing that would cause us to flood — if they closed the dam down. But we are continuing to monitor the situation and hope to be on top of whatever might happen.”