Up to five inches of rain leads to high river levels

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The Great Miami River through Dayton is high, but it’s still 10 feet short of flooding.

Rainfall total varied across the region. Dayton picked up 3.43 inches at the airport. Springfield saw 4.03 inches of rain, and areas south of Dayton from Miamisburg to West Chester recorded more than 5 inches of rain.

The Great Miami did reach flood stage in Middletown where the river rose 10 feet reaching peak Tuesday evening at 13.08 inches.

In Dayton flood stage is at 41 feet and has never been reached since the five flood protection-dams were built after the 1913 flood. According to the Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Center, the volume of water at this height would equal the 1913 flood record.

The Miami Conservancy District’s five flood protection-dams were completed in 1922.

The highest crest on record since then was 36 feet on Jan 22, 1959.

Today the river likely peaked at 31.65 feet this morning.

Peak storage across the Taylorsville, Lockington, Germantown, and Huffman Dam was 4.4 billion gallons of water. Storage at the Englewood Dam has not quite peaked. According to the Public Relations Manager for the Miami Conservancy District 4.1 billion gallons are temporarily being stored as of Wednesday May, 20.

Kurt Rinehart is the chief engineer with the Miami Conservancy District.

“You have the five dams that are built to temporarily store water,” Rinehart said. “(The dams) can hold back the 1913 plus 40% additional flood water so, a very high level of protection.”

The total storage across all five dams can reach 274 billion gallons of water. After 2-5 inches of rain in 48 hours the dams are not near capacity.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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