Flood of 1997
Twenty-eight Kentucky and Indiana counties are declared federal disaster areas, bringing to 53 the number in Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana.
The Licking River falls below its 28-foot flood stage at Falmouth and continues to drop to 24.2 feet.
The Ohio River drops to 64.1 feet from its 64.7-foot crest. The seasonal level for March is about 36 feet.
Meteorologists say the rain that caused Tristate flooding was a ''one-in-a-thousand-year event.''
Sightseers are asked to use Mount Echo and Eden parks, the Carew Tower observation deck and the Cinergy Field plaza level to observe flooding.
The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals opens shelter space for displaced pets.
Enquirer.Com on March 7, 1997

A short, sad journey home

The Cincinnati Enquirer

Joyce Campbell steps through the front window of her Falmouth store after retrieving money and a cash register.
(Patrick Reddy photo)
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People who live along rivers say you lose everything twice in a flood. The first time is when you leave everything behind and flee your house for higher ground.
The second time is when you go back to see what the river has stolen or destroyed.
The second loss began Thursday for Falmouth. Residents boarded buses and were driven through town to see the remains of their houses and businesses.
No one was prepared for what they saw. Falmouth looked like a battleground. Broken windows. Smashed buildings. Ravaged trees. Cars tossed across streets. Houses dropped on cars. A foundation where someone's home once stood.
Next to the New Pastime movie theater -- still advertising Scream -- Joyce Campbell stepped through what once was the front window of her Fancy Floral Fashions and Gifts.
A barn that washed onto Ky. 22 east of the Licking River took on the appearance of a covered bridge as a truck rolled through.
(Patrick Reddy photo)
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For 16 years, she had run that shop with her husband, sold flowers for all occasions, happy and sad.
This was a sad day. Joyce Campbell clutched what might be the last money her shop will ever take in. She had some $20 bills and personal checks in her hand.
Her cash register was about to be opened by a National Guardsman. He slammed it on the back of his Humvee. After some tugs and pulls, the cash drawer popped opened. More coins and bills.
If that register held a mint of money, it would not have been enough to give Joyce Campbell's crushed spirits a boost.
''It's devasting to see this,'' she said. ''I just don't know how we're going to recover.''
The riverfront in Bellevue, Ky., (foreground) was swamped, while Dayton - which paid off its floodwall last year - was spared.
(Michael E. Keating photo)
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Flood refugees in New Richmond wanted to make the same short trip home. They were itching to get back into town, survey the damage and get busy with the cleanup.
The mayor, Jack Gooding, wanted them to to wait until the water level fell farther.
A morning briefing turned into a shouting match. One man was restrained by police. There was talk of defying the law and going into town under the cover of darkness.
''The hell with the mayor and the police,'' one man hissed.
The mayor realized his decision made him the most unpopular man in town. He took it, tired and stressed like everyone else in town. His house was flooded, too.
He even tried to make a joke about how much they disliked him.
''I'm like a wet dog in a hot room.''

Day 7, Friday, March 7, 1997