KENT, Ohio — The Kent Fire Department is warning people to stay out of the Cuyahoga River.
Last year, the Kent Fire Department rescued over 20 people in just a few weeks from the raging river. This year’s river levels are even higher. The above average rainfall and precipitation has led to numerous water rescues due to the river’s fast and furious rapids along with the higher than normal river levels. Since the beginning of the year, our precipitation and rain totals have been above normal. This has led to higher than normal river, creek and stream levels around Northeast Ohio.
With warmer weather approaching by late week and this weekend, more people are going to venture outside and onto the Cuyahoga River with rafts and kayaks. When water rescues are performed, not only does this jeopardize the safety of those first responders, but also this puts emergency workers in dangerously close proximity to others, which during the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, could have serious health consequences.
As of Sunday, March 29th, the Cuyahoga River in Independence experienced its 7th highest river level ever. According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), this was a once in a 100-year flood that was experienced last week along the Cuyahoga River.