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Crews clean highways overwhelmed by Ohio floods

Severe thunderstorms Wednesday evening triggered the flash flooding on sections of Interstate 70 and Interstate 75. Motorists in some places were trapped in 4 feet of water that poured over a retaining wall.

The Associated Press

5/23/2014

DAYTON, Ohio — Ohio transportation officials plan to study the flash flooding on two interstate highways in the Dayton area this week that trapped motorists in their cars, shut down highways and required a major cleanup operation.

Severe thunderstorms Wednesday evening triggered the flash flooding on sections of Interstate 70 and Interstate 75. Motorists in some places were trapped in 4 feet of water that poured over a retaining wall.

The Ohio Department of Transportation said it will study the flooding and should have a report within three weeks, the Dayton Daily News reported (http://bit.ly/1k9OFZn ). The study will draw on the expertise of hydraulic and design engineers.

Three sections of highway were hit, two of them on I-75 in Miami County, and the other on I-70 in Huber Heights.

Ohio transportation department manager Bob Lenzer says the I-70 flooding was the worst interstate flooding in 30 years. He says his crews cleaned a three-quarter-inch silt deposit off the highway.

It was caused when rains overwhelmed nearby Dry Run Creek.

"Mother Nature really hit us between the eyes on this one," said Randy Chevalley, the state transportation supervisor for the district.

Water shut down I-70 highway for a quarter-mile from 8 p.m. Wednesday to 2 a.m. Thursday. Eight vehicles were stranded in the high water and drivers had to be rescued.

Traffic cameras showed frustrated drivers making U-turns and driving in the wrong direction on the interstate to exit and find another route. Other motorists could be seen exiting their cars and walking on the interstate.

Nearby Wright-Patterson Air Force Base reported 3.55 inches of rain in four hours, breaking a record for the date.

In Bethel Township in Clark County, firefighters and police in boats rescued residents from waist-deep water that flooded an apartment complex.

The sections of I-75 were closed when water washed over the roadway.

Information from: Dayton Daily News, http://www.daytondailynews.com


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