Roads flooded throughout central Ohio following storms

LICKING COUNTY, Ohio (WCMH) – Long after Tuesday’s storms moved out of central Ohio, they still caused problems for the region.

The area around Interstate 70 and State Route 79 looked like a lake or several ponds. Flood waters forced the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) to close the eastbound off ramp from I-70 and the westbound on ramp onto the interstate. As of Wednesday evening, they were still closed.

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ODOT also watched the eastbound lanes in the area extremely closely. There was concern flood waters would spill onto the roadway. If that had happened, ODOT would have closed one or both eastbound lanes.

“Shutting down a major interstate or restricting that would certainly be a big impact,” said Matt Bruning, ODOT Press Secretary.

Local roads in Licking County also dealt with flooding. Mike Fry, co-owner of The Dirty Oar, said water was knee deep Tuesday night outside the bar on Buckeye Lake. Water also got inside.

“There was about three inches of water on the floor, so I was slopping through water just to lift stuff up on the tables,” Fry said. “It’s been a little rough.”

The flooding problems were not isolated to Licking County. At one point Wednesday, more than 130 roads were closed because of flooding or debris or both, according to ODOT.

“I can’t remember too many times where we’ve had this widespread, this high amount of issues from a storm,” Bruning said. “Certainly you see that in some concentrated areas but to see it as widespread as it is certainly is something you don’t see very often thankfully.”

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