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Then and Now

Then & Now: A history of flooding on the Athens campus

During the past few weeks, the Hocking River has surged to levels of more than 21 feet due to the large amount of rain that the state has received during April. The resulting local and regional flooding prompted Dean of Students Ryan Lombardi to send an email to OHIO students on April 22 warning them of potential driving problems.

Flooding is nothing new for Ohio University’s Athens campus, and recent levels do not compare to the floods before the Hocking River was rerouted by the Army Corps of Engineers in 1969.

University Archivist and Records Manager Bill Kimok said OHIO was the driving force behind the project because more residence halls were being built on West and South Greens, areas that were prone to flooding.

For real time water data for Hocking River in Athens, click here.

Flood facts


  • Grover Center was the gymnasium before the Convocation    Center, and when the river would flood, the wooden floors would warp and    have to be replaced by the University.
  • The catwalks on South Green were built with flooding in mind.
  • The Hocking River was rerouted during Vernon R. Alden’s    administration, and The Post once    superimposed Alden on a surfboard, overlooking the damage.
  • East Green was built quickly as housing for veterans, and    OHIO received a grant to raise 12 acres of land above the flood plain. The    area became known as “Hog Island.”