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Published: Wednesday, November 08, 2017 @ 6:00 AM
— 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.
“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.”
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.
“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.
“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.
“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.
The wave created by the unusually high water is on par with one of the best river features in the nation, Thomas said.
Published: Friday, February 23, 2018 @ 7:30 AM
MONTGOMERY COUNTY — 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.
Published: Friday, February 23, 2018 @ 4:27 AM
— 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.”
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)
DAYTON (Great Miami River)
SIDNEY (Great Miami River)
MIDDLETOWN (Great Miami River)
Published: Monday, February 19, 2018 @ 3:49 AM
Updated: Friday, February 23, 2018 @ 1:29 AM
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Published: Thursday, February 22, 2018 @ 11:11 AM
Updated: Thursday, February 22, 2018 @ 11:32 AM
HUBER HEIGHTS — Executive Boulevard lanes in Huber Heights reopened after being closed for several hours following a gas leak Thursday morning.
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.
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.