Flood of 1997
DAY 5: WEDNESDAY, MARCH 5, 1997
Vice President Al Gore visits the Tristate.
Hamilton and Clermont counties are named federal disaster areas.
The Ohio River crests at 64.7 feet, the highest mark since 1964.
Three bodies are found in Falmouth -- bringing to four the number of flood-related deaths there. Firefighters and canine units begin house-to-house searches and inspections.
Confirmed flooding deaths reach five in Ohio and 17 in Kentucky.
Along the Ohio River through Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana, 2,200 National Guard personnel have been activated.
Kellogg Avenue, Ohio 32, Eastern Avenue and several other streets are closed, snarling traffic.
Enquirer.Com on March 6, 1997
  .
.

Volunteers, vice president
vow to make things whole

BY CLIFF RADEL
The Cincinnati Enquirer

jetski
Using a jet ski, Newtown firefighters towed a family and their dog down Center Street after they were rescued from their home.
(Glenn Hartong photo)
| ZOOM |
On the fifth day, the muddy Ohio reached 64.7 feet at Cincinnati. The river stood 12.7 feet above flood stage. It would go no higher. The 64.7-foot crest made it the worst flood in 33 years. For a great many Cincinnatians, people who had moved here or were not born soon enough to see the 1964 deluge swamp the riverfront, this was the worst flood of a lifetime.
In New Richmond, the fast-rising waters of the Ohio forced village authorities to issue an evacuation order. Residents had no time to save much, then got caught in a traffic jam of stalled cars as the muddy water welled up around them.
For thousands of people driven from their homes to community shelters, this was their worst nightmare. Authorities weren't sure when they could return to their homes. They weren't sure what they would find.
rescue
Vice President Gore tested the floodwaters in downtown Cincinnati and promised federal assistance for victims
(Kevin J. Miyazaki photo)
| ZOOM |
Hundreds of volunteers came to the flood areas to help.
Carol Theler of Mount Washington helped set up a shelter at the Cold Spring Fire Department. She remembered what her father had taught her years ago: ''If everybody gave a little bit, no one would have to give a lot.''
Chris Bohmann, a shift leader at the Eastgate United Dairy Farmers store, drove to Cincinnati's California neighborhood to take flood pictures. When he saw signs for a Red Cross emergency shelter, he put his camera away and offered his services.
''It was better to ask if they needed any help than for me to walk around getting pictures of the water that's causing so much misery.''
As Chris Bohmann folded washcloths, Vice President Al Gore's motorcade was pulling into downtown Cincinnati. Rain and low clouds had cut short his extended tour by air of the flood-stricken region.
The vice president ended his inspection trip on a ramp leading to a flooded Skyline Chili parlor on Pete Rose Way. After sticking the toes of his boots in the cold rushing water, he said, ''The entire United States of America will come together to help Cincinnati and the surrounding areas on both sides of the river to recover from this flood.
''We will do our part and make you whole.''
falmouth
The force of the floodwaters in Falmouth tossed cars together.
(Michael E. Keating photo)
| ZOOM |
That might not be possible in Falmouth. Crews of firefighters went door to door inspecting the city's houses. A blue ''X'' meant the house had been checked. Red plastic ribbon, nothing wrong. Yellow ''X,'' the house is unstable. Yellow ribbon meant the house needed a second, more thorough search. There might be severe damage or even a body inside.
Of those that were not washed away by the floodwaters of the Licking, most homes were marked with yellow Xs. They would likely be demolished.
Just the thought of rebuilding next to a river that has caused so much pain brought tears to the eyes of Rick Brown, a Falmouth volunteer firefighter.
''I love the town. It's a great town,'' he said. ''(But) if I could pick the whole damn town up and move it away from the river, I'd do it tomorrow.''

Day 6, Thursday, March 6, 1997
.
.