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Roads Close in Kenton, Campbell; Shelter Opens, Emergency Declared

The relentless rain has redirected hopes that the Ohio River would fall back below flood stage over the weekend.

Instead, it's headed in the opposite direction and the National Weather Service expects the water to be higher than it has been since the 1997 flood.

The entire region is back under a flood warning until further notice.

As of noon on Friday, the river had risen to 57.2 feet. Flood stage is 52 feet. Moderate flooding is already happening and the Ohio will rise to near 59.5 feet by early Tuesday afternoon, according to the NWS. It will then begin to fall but remain above flood stage for the next five days.

When the river gets to 60 feet, significant flooding happens in Newport, the NWS said. Parts of the NKY River Cities have been dealing with high water for days now, with Covington's Riverside Drive and Bellevue Beach Park wiped out. In Bromley, Keyhole Eatery & Dessert Bar announced that it would be closing because of the high water. Silver Grove Schools were forced to move their classroom items to higher levels as the water rose, a school official told RCN. Pendleton County Schools closed due to the number of road closures prompted by the flooding.

Kenton and Campbell County have closed roads while Campbell declared a state of emergency on Thursday and has opened a shelter. The City of Bromley is also preparing to open a shelter. Silver Grove has enacted a curfew from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. each day until further notice, Mayor Neal Bedel announced. That city has been hit hard by the rising water and the curfew aims to protect people's homes if they have evacuated.

The Campbell County shelter can be found at the Alexandria Community Center, 8236 West Main Street, Alexandria. The county urges those in need of the shelter to leave early enough to avoid being trapped by road closures. Those in need are urged to find alternative accommodations for their pets as the Red Cross only accepts service animals. The Campbell County Animal Shelter will be available for pets, too.

The shelter opened at 3 p.m. Friday and will have cots, blankets, pillows, hygiene items, and meals.

In Bromley, Mayor Mike Denham secured cots and blankets from the Red Cross and declared an emergency there in case the conditions worsen. The city building on Boone Street would be used as a shelter, if needed.

Roads closed in Campbell County as of 3:30 p.m. include Dodgeworth at 1998, Oneonta at Truesdale, Fender Road prior to Rt.8, Lincoln Road in Melbourne towards the end by camp sites, Owl Creek at Uhl Road in Silver Grove, Eight Mile by Rt.8, Maple Street at 1st. Street in Silver Grove, Oak Street in Silver Grove, Emma Way in Silver Grove (trailer park), and Anderson Lane in Melbourne.

In Kenton County, closed roads include Conley Road, Washboard Road, Bethel Grove, and Rich Road.

Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin also declared a statewide state of emergency.

The Governor’s executive order enables state resources to be mobilized and made ready to assist cities and counties should they be needed.

Kentucky Emergency Management (KYEM) activated the State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) on Feb. 22, at a Level 4. To date, the SEOC has received 14 individual county declarations.

“Monitor the threat of heavy rainfall and flooding alerts through your weather radio and media broadcasts to ensure you have awareness of changing conditions in your area,” said KYEM director Michael Dossett. ”Please also be aware of safety concerns for local first responders as they assist citizens in flood-prone areas.”

In response to rising floodwaters, search and rescue teams have been placed on standby to provide evacuation assistance as needed. State cabinet partners and the National Guard are also preparing for flood response activities.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is currently assessing damages in 21 Eastern Kentucky counties from the previous flooding event on Feb. 9-12, and is prepared to remain in the state to assess further damages in Kentucky.

Gov. Bevin has also activated the state’s prohibitions on price gouging, effective immediately, to protect consumers affected by the severe weather system.

Attorney General Andy Beshear urged Kentuckians to be on the lookout for price gouging. Beshear said due to recent storms and flooding, anyone with information regarding possible price gouging should contact the Office of the Attorney General at 888-432-9257 or email [email protected].

“My office is accepting price gouging reports and we are ready to investigate and even prosecute predatory pricing,” said Beshear. “Now that a state of emergency has been declared and price gouging laws are in full effect, we will be on the lookout for any instances of price gouging including, generators, building supplies, chainsaws, hotel rooms and other necessary goods and services at an exorbitant price in a time of disaster.”

The emergency order triggers Kentucky’s consumer protection measures the next 30 days. The protective measures may be extended beyond 30 days if needed.

-Staff report