Surfers on the raging Great Miami? Calls pour into 911

Published: Wednesday, November 08, 2017 @ 6:00 AM

Police in Dayton have released a 911 call indicating that a man was in the river near the Salem Avenue bridge and appeared to be surfing on the rough waters.

Emergency dispatchers received multiple 911 calls Monday reporting two people potentially drowning in the Great Miami River, bloated and raging after Sunday’s record rainfall.

But surfers Shannon Thomas and Josh Wright were having the times of their lives.

“I had a blast. It was probably one of the best surfs I’ve had in a while,” Thomas said.

The professional river surfer was about to begin his last surf when ambulances, fire trucks, police and park rangers — and a water rescue boat — arrived near the River Run drop just upstream from the Monument Avenue bridge.

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“Basically, people aren’t educated enough,” said Thomas, 32. “They see somebody in the river and they immediately think they are drowning. They can’t fathom why someone would be out there on a board surfing.”

(CONTRIBUTED)

Thomas, a 2003 Fairmont High School graduate, said he and friend Wright were taking all the proper precautions: using a buddy system, wearing helmets, wetsuits, PFDs and outfitted with leashes that could quickly be released in case of entanglement.

RELATED: 20-year plan tries to make Dayton’s rivers more accessible, profitable

“At no point were me or my buddy in distress,” said Thomas, who tapped his helmet at the arriving emergency responders, an international symbol that one is not in danger.

While the river where the men surfed is typically much safer now that a low dam has been removed, it can still be extraordinarily hazardous under certain conditions — more so without proper training, said Amy Dingle, director of Outdoor Connections at Five Rivers MetroParks.

Surfers make use of Great Miami waves

“The men surfing the River Run on Monday were highly skilled, which allowed them to assess the action and temperature of the water, and they took every safety precaution,” said Dingle, a former Olympic team kayaker.  

Everyone must consider their skill level and experience when deciding whether to get on the water, she said.  

“We encourage anyone who hasn’t had training or extensive experience to stay off the river when it’s flooded,” Dingle said. “And always wear a life jacket.”

After exiting the river, Thomas said he had a 20-minute talk with authorities.

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“They were basically threatening me with inciting or inducing panic,” he said.

Thomas, who is sponsored by Badfish Stand Up Paddle, said he was not cited because he broke no laws.

RELATED: Your guide to making the most of RiverScape River Run

The wave created by the unusually high water is on par with one of the best river features in the nation, Thomas said.

“At that level it’s very similar to the Glenwood Springs, Colo., wave, which is probably one of the most famous waves in the country,” he said.

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Man indicted for 2017 fatal crash

Published: Friday, February 23, 2018 @ 7:30 AM

Fatal crash on Ohio 4 in Riverside

A man involved in a fatal October, 2017 crash has been indicted on multiple charges.

Riverside police said David Olsen was indicted on charges of aggravated vehicular homicide, aggravated vehicular assault, vehicular assault, OVI and improper handling of a firearm. The charges are in connection to a fatal crash on Oct. 14, 2017 on Route 4.

>> RELATED: Man indicted on charges connected to Riverside fatal crash

Alysha Lewis, 30, of Dayton was killed in the crash.

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Great Miami River expected to crest this weekend: Where will flooding occur?

Published: Friday, February 23, 2018 @ 4:27 AM

Meteorologist Kirstie Zontini looks at how the rivers in the Miami Valley will be impacted by the rain this week.

As a Flood Watch remains in effect for the southern Miami Valley counties through Sunday morning, creeks, streams and fields will likely flood, said Storm Center 7 Meteorologist Kirstie Zontini.

“Creeks and streams, if not already, will likely be out of their banks through the weekend,” she said. “Fields will also be flooded with the heavy rains that arrive Friday and Saturday.”

>> RELATED: Heavy rain, low visibility possible for morning commute; Flood Watch in effect

There’s a lag between the heavy rain and water levels rising, which is why we won’t see creeks, streams and rivers recede until the end of the weekend and start to the new week.

>> RELATED Flooding: Know your risks

The Great Miami River is expected to crest, or hit its highest levels, this weekend. 

In Troy, the Great Miami River is expected to crest at 13.6 feet Sunday, and in Dayton, the river is expected to crest, also Sunday, at 32.3 feet. And in Middletown, the Great Miami River is expected to crest at 12.4 feet Sunday.

The Stillwater River in Englewood is expected to crest Monday at 33.6 feet.

>>RELATED: WHIO Doppler 7 Interactive Radar

When the river does crest, here are the areas that will see flooding impacts, according to the National Weather Service.

ENGLEWOOD (Stillwater River)

  • 23 feet: Martindale Road, Old Springfield Road and the road to the MetroPark are all closed
  • 25 feet: Martindale Road, old Springfield Road and the road to the MetroPark are covered by two to three feet of water

DAYTON (Great Miami River)

  • 27.5 feetBike trail will be flooded
  • 30 feet: Flooding occurs near Rip Rap Road between Bridgewater and Little York roads near Huber Heights

SIDNEY (Great Miami River)

  • 10 feet: The river approaches the bank on the west side of Custenborder Field. At stages above 10 feet, city officials begin flood operations.
  • 11 feet: Custenborder Field has some flooding of perimeter areas, along with flooding occurring in low spots on Miami River Road
  • 12 feet: The river reaches the bank on Riverside Drive, with flooding of Custenborder Field at the east river intake. Homes and properties will experience flooding along the river on Riverside Drive from the BK Root Beer stand to the city limits

MIDDLETOWN (Great Miami River)

  • 11 feetSome flooding occurs on private property areas along either side of Route 73 from the east side of the river approaching Excello. Middletown is protected by levees and floodgates to 24 feet.

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Dayton traffic from the WHIO Traffic Center

Published: Monday, February 19, 2018 @ 3:49 AM
Updated: Friday, February 23, 2018 @ 1:29 AM

Traffic issues can be reported by calling our newsroom at 937-259-2237 or tweeting @WHIOTraffic .

Traffic conditions are updated every six minutes on AM 1290 and News 95.7 FM.

Major Highway Incidents

  • No incidents to report. 

Surface Street Incidents 

  • No incidents to report. 

>> RELATED: WHIO App-Winter

>> RELATED: Track the latest conditions in your neighborhood on our live WHIO Doppler 7 Interactive Radar

Ongoing Construction & Other Closures 

Live look at highways on our traffic cameras here.

Latest traffic conditions are also available on our traffic map. 

MONTGOMERY COUNTY

  • Arlington Road between Pleasant Plain and Upper Lewisburg Salem Road, BRIDGE CLOSURE, March 5 - Sept. 30. All ramps for I-70 will remain open. 
  • Keowee Street north of Stanley Avenue, bridge closed until 2019. The official detour is: Keowee Street to Stanley Avenue to I-75 to Wagner Ford Road and back to Dixie. More information is available here.
  • Stewart Street Ramp to US 35 East, RAMP CLOSURE March 28 - Sept 30, 2018. The official detour is: Stewart Street to Edwin C. Moses Boulevard to I-75 north to US 35 west to James H. McGee Blvd. to US 35 east.
  • I-75 north Ramp to US 35 west and east, Lane width restriction until Apr. 1, 2018. One lane will remain open on the ramp with a width of 11 feet.

SHELBY COUNTY

  • SR 47 between Fifth Avenue and Wilkinson Avenue, Lane closures Jan. 21 - Nov. 27. One lane will remain open in each direction at all times. 

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Huber Heights gas leak causes business evacuations

Published: Thursday, February 22, 2018 @ 11:11 AM
Updated: Thursday, February 22, 2018 @ 11:32 AM

Repairs continue after Huber Heights gas leak causes business evacuations

Executive Boulevard lanes in Huber Heights reopened after being closed for several hours following a gas leak Thursday morning.

‘SHS’ school threat believed to have originated in Springfield, police chief says

Crews continued to make repairs to the leaking gas line that evacuated fifteen business along the road around 11 a.m., according to Huber Heights Fire Chief Mark Ashworth.

Ashworth said a construction crew working in the area struck a 6-inch gas main directly under Executive, which  caused the gas to leak from underground.

Huber Heights gas leak


Executive is one of the city’s most commercial areas and Ashworth said the leak would impact the businesses in the area.

Utility companies, including DP&L and Vectren, worked on scene to isolate their utilities as well.

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