Commissioners pursue federal grant to resolve decades-long flood issues

Residents were evacuated from Greenbriar Village in Hebron after heavy rains caused flooding in 2017.

NEWARK — The Licking County Commissioners agreed to take the lead on preparing a federal grant application to finally resolve many decades of flooding issues in southern Licking County and surrounding counties.

Two major goals for as much as $200 million in grant money will be raising the level of Interstate 70, especially around the Ohio 79 interchange, and improving the flood-prone South Fork of the Licking River, which overflowed its banks in Newark and Heath a year ago, forcing evacuations.

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Logjams frequently block the South Fork of the Licking River, re-routing its flow near Hebron and threatening the eastern edge of the Newark Ohio Industrial Park.