Ohio River flooding expected to persist through this week

CINCINNATI (AP) — Forecasters expect flooding to persist through the week in the Cincinnati region, and authorities said Monday that will hinder efforts to assess damage.

The National Weather Service said the Ohio River crested Sunday and was still well above flood stage Monday. Sunday’s peak was more than 8 feet (2.4 meters) above flood stage and the highest crest since 1997.

Meteorologist Kristen Cassady, in Wilmington, Ohio, said a couple of dry days will help, but rain expected later in the week could delay the receding.

“It is slowly going down,” she said, adding that although no heavy rain is expected, even light rain would have an impact on the swollen river.

Monday commutes were complicated by closed roads east of Cincinnati and across the river in northern Kentucky, and some parking lots in downtown Cincinnati were flooded. The Ohio and other rivers caused basement flooding and sewage backups, as well as forcing riverfront businesses to close.

“Floodwaters are a mess,” Hamilton County Commissioner Todd Portune said, urging patience as authorities try to determine the extent of damages. “Until the water recedes, we simply will not know.”

There was minor flooding farther east along the Ohio, as well as from other waterways. Classes were canceled Monday at Ohio University in southeast Ohio.

Rivers swollen by heavy rains and melting snow have been a nagging problem for days in the central part of the U.S., with the governors of Missouri, Indiana and Illinois declaring disaster emergencies.

In Michigan, river levels were dropping after flooding last week and over the weekend. In southwestern Michigan, where the body of a 48-year-old man was found in floodwaters Sunday in Kalamazoo, the Kalamazoo River was receding after peaking above a 1947 record.

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This aerial image, the John A. Roebling Suspension Bridge spans the flooded Ohio River between Cincinnati, Ohio, right, and Covington, Ky., on Monday, Feb. 26, 2018. The National Weather Service said the Ohio River crested Sunday to its highest point since 1997. Forecasters expect flooding to persist through the week in the Cincinnati region, and authorities said Monday that will hinder efforts to assess damage. (DroneBase via AP)

PNC Field is seen under water at the Le Blond Community Center in the East End, Sunday, Feb. 25, 2018. Heavy rains overnight have sent the swollen Ohio River to its highest point in 20 years with the river expected to remain above flood stage through the end of the week, a National Weather Service meteorologist said Sunday. (Kareem Elgazzar/The Cincinnati Enquirer via AP)

This aerial image shows the flooded Ohio River in Cincinnati on Monday, Feb. 26, 2018. The National Weather Service said the river crested Sunday to its highest point since 1997. Forecasters expect flooding to persist through the week in the Cincinnati region, and authorities said Monday that will hinder efforts to assess damage. (DroneBase via AP)

High water from the flooded Ohio River covers the walkways around the idle fountain at Point State Park in Pittsburgh on Monday, Feb. 26, 2018. Flood waters from weekend rains closed riverside roads and parking in the city. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)

This aerial image shows the flooded Ohio River near Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati on Monday, Feb. 26, 2018. The National Weather Service said the Ohio River crested Sunday to its highest point since 1997. Forecasters expect flooding to persist through the week in the Cincinnati region, and authorities said Monday that will hinder efforts to assess damage. (DroneBase via AP)

Forecasters expect flooding to persist through the week in the Cincinnati region as the Ohio River slowly recedes from its highest level in 21 years. The National Weather Service reported the river crested Sunday at around 60.5 feet. (Feb. 26)

A family walks on their front porch as flood waters surround their home Sunday, Feb. 25, 2018, in Cincinnati. Heavy rains overnight have sent the swollen Ohio River at Cincinnati to its highest point in 20 years with the river expected to remain above flood stage through the end of the week, a National Weather Service meteorologist said Sunday. (Kareem Elgazzar/The Cincinnati Enquirer via AP)

Fred White, wades through water on Setchell Street in the East End, Sunday, Feb. 25, 2018, in Cincinnati. Heavy rains overnight have sent the swollen Ohio River at Cincinnati to its highest point in 20 years with the river expected to remain above flood stage through the end of the week, a National Weather Service meteorologist said Sunday. (Kareem Elgazzar/The Cincinnati Enquirer via AP)

A vehicle is submerged along Waits Avenue in Cincinnati, Sunday, Feb. 25, 2018, in Cincinnati. Heavy rains overnight have sent the swollen Ohio River to its highest point in 20 years with the river expected to remain above flood stage through the end of the week, a National Weather Service meteorologist said Sunday. (Kareem Elgazzar/The Cincinnati Enquirer via AP)

Scioto River floodwaters inundate the area around the State Route 316 bridge in northern Pickaway County, Ohio, Sunday, Feb. 25, 2018. The skyline of Columbus is barely visible on the horizon. Flooding of smaller rivers and streams has caused road closings throughout central and southern Ohio. (Doral Chenoweth III/The Columbus Dispatch via AP)

Casey Haley, of Covington, Ky., pulls his kayak out of the Ohio River, Sunday, Feb. 25, 2018. The weather service said moderate flooding was expected along the Ohio River in Kentucky and Ohio, including in Cincinnati, where the river was 8 feet above flood stage Sunday. (Kareem Elgazzar/The Cincinnati Enquirer via AP)

Flood waters rise on Sunday, Feb. 25, 2018, in Cincinnati. Heavy rains overnight have sent the swollen Ohio River at Cincinnati to its highest point in 20 years with the river expected to remain above flood stage through the end of the week, a National Weather Service meteorologist said Sunday. (Kareem Elgazzar/The Cincinnati Enquirer via AP)

Rising flood waters engulf Riverview East Academy along Kellogg Avenue in the East End, Sunday, Feb. 25, 2018. Heavy rains overnight have sent the swollen Ohio River to its highest point in 20 years with the river expected to remain above flood stage through the end of the week, a National Weather Service meteorologist said Sunday. (Kareem Elgazzar/The Cincinnati Enquirer via AP)

Waters rise along the Ohio River at General James Taylor Park in Newport, Ky., on Sunday, Feb. 25, 2018. Heavy rains overnight have sent the swollen Ohio River at Cincinnati to its highest point in 20 years with the river expected to remain above flood stage through the end of the week, a National Weather Service meteorologist said Sunday. (Kareem Elgazzar/The Cincinnati Enquirer via AP)

Lesa Tomlin, left, gestures toward dry land as Lori Sullender, right, holds medicine for her father-in-law pulled from a Rohde Avenue home in California, Sunday, Feb. 25, 2018, in Cincinnati. Heavy rains overnight have sent the swollen Ohio River at Cincinnati to its highest point in 20 years with the river expected to remain above flood stage through the end of the week, a National Weather Service meteorologist said Sunday. (Kareem Elgazzar/The Cincinnati Enquirer via AP)