Ohio 239 at the junction of Ohio 73 at West Portsmouth is closed, as is Ohio 220 at the junction of County Road 51, River Road, just south of Waverly.
“We don't think the snow we've been experiencing will have an effect on the receding waters at this time,” said Kathleen Fuller, public information officer for District 9. “The Scioto River is expected to crest by Thursday, but the guys at the garage in Pike County are telling us the earliest day that road can be opened is Friday. The same goes for 239.”
Fuller said the reason it takes a while to get a road open is the clearing of debris caused by the flooding.
The National Weather Service on Tuesday morning continued the flood warning for the Scioto River at Circleville and Piketon. The warning calls for the river to continue rising to near 20.5 feet in Pike County, and to fall below flood stage by late Saturday morning.
“Backwater flooding begins along creeks flowing into the Scioto River; Scioto and Camp Creek townships in southern Pike County experience the most significant flooding,” the NWS said in issuing this, the latest of the warning extensions.
Fuller said there's an additional problem with Ohio 239 when it comes to receding waters.
takes a lot longer because you don't have just the Scioto River, you also have the Ohio River to contend with,” she said.
Fuller also said the on- and off-ramps are always affected, because of the debris that washes up onto the roadways.
Will the snow have an effect on the waters?
“It shouldn't because the forecast is not calling for a lot, so the water probably won't freeze. It will get cold, but probably not freeze,” Fuller said. “If the temperatures plunge and we get a lot of snow, then for sure it would slow the waters down as they fall, which means it would take longer.”
ODOT said the two routes will remained closed until further notice.
“Motorists are reminded that crossing any closed route is strictly prohibited, and they are advised to exercise extreme caution when crossing any route which remains open but where standing water may be present,” Fuller said.
For additional information regarding closures because of flooding or other weather-related activity throughout the state, the public may visit the Ohio Transportation Information System on ODOT's Web site at www.buckeyetraffic.org.
“We are hoping we don't get a significant snow amount in the next couple of days, so we can get these roads cleaned up and reopened,” Fuller said.
FRANK LEWIS can be reached at (740) 353-3101, ext. 232.