Covington continues storm cleanup

Cement brick mason Gene Koehl of the Covington Public Works Department cleans branches and other debris from a culvert at the end of Wright Street.


COVINGTON, Ky. - A little more than a day after torrential rains sent torrents of water washing down streets in several Covington neighborhoods, the City is assessing the damage and responding in a variety of ways: 

  • Crews from the Public Works Department spent today cleaning up gravel, mud, and asphalt chunks dislodged by the rushing water, as well as cleaning out storm drains. 
  • The Neighborhood Services Department arranged for open-top dumpsters to be dropped off in some of the hardest-hit areas for residents to dump water-damaged possessions. 
  • City Manager David Johnston has reached out to the Kenton County Emergency Management Office to set in motion a possible application for federal reimbursement of funds spent in response to the storm. 
  • City administrators are in ongoing discussion with Sanitation District No. 1 of Northern Kentucky - the agency responsible for dealing with storm water - about run-off issues, particularly in the Peaselburg, Lewisburg, and Latonia areas. 
  • And the City is working with SD1 to advertise programs that offer help to residents with issues caused by basement drains backing up. Homes on several streets, including some homes to the east on Levassor Place and Eastern Avenue, reported water damage caused not by runoff but by backups. Information on its Backup Assistance Program can be seen HERE
Public Works Director Rick Davis said he had dozens of workers assigned to cleanup today.
“We’re figuring out what’s needed and reacting as we go,” Davis said this morning. “Safety’s the No. 1 concern right now, and we know we have more rain on its way in the coming days.”
Workers were paying particular attention to cleaning up debris that could clog the storm water drainage system. Public Works regularly inspects and cleans out catch basins and drains in public areas, especially in areas known to be susceptible to flooding in heavy rain, he said.  

The National Weather Service reported 4.96 inches of rain fell on Covington in the 24 hours that ended about 7 a.m. Sunday. This was on top of weeks of on-and-off-again rain that had already saturated the ground.

Covington wasn’t alone. Cities across Greater Cincinnati suffered a variety of damage, including downed trees, mudslides onto roads, flooded underpasses, washed-out asphalt, and flooded basements. 

Davis said Public Works crews were dispatched around midnight Saturday and worked throughout the night and much of Sunday. Davis said all roads in Covington should be open as of today.
Some 12 to 15 streets suffered damage, he said.
Neighborhood Services Director Ken Smith continued to field calls today and said that as a help to residents, the City had arranged with Rumpke Waste & Recycling to drop off dumpsters in the hardest-hit areas. However, Smith said residents should first check with their insurance companies to inquire about proper procedures.
The City has been working with SD1 for years to pursue projects where financially and geographically feasible to address flooding issues. For example, four detention ponds have been built in the Peaselburg area to temporarily hold storm water, and three more are in various stages. A large detention pond is also planned in the hill above Lewisburg.

Driver Danny Peters, left, and landscape and maintenance worker Jackson Fischer shovel debris into a backhoe driven by light equipment operator Paul Thompson.

A crew from Covington’s Public Works Department sweeps rocks off Highland Avenue. From left are laborer III James Payne, laborer V James Johnson, and landscape and maintenance workers Fred Conrad Jr. and Eric Atkins.

Light equipment operator Joe Rump clears Highland Avenue of sticks and loose gravel with a street sweeper.

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