Too Close for Comfort

If you want to get close to the businesses on Front Street, your options are limited, either wading in hip boots, or by boat. A Newark, Ohio man with family in the area traveled by canoe.

"I missed it last time, and this time I wanted to come down and do it," says John Hurst. "I brought a canoe from Newark, and we were ready this time to go canoeing."

"I've been canoeing before on the Muskingum River, cat fishing. I think it's fun, something to do," says Eric Wright, who joined Hurst. "There's nothing really to do today but canoeing."

City officials are telling us, however, to remind people to stay out of the downtown area. And it's not just a case of getting in the way. It may actually cause damage to the buildings people are trying to see.

"When you get a certain kind of pressure, and if a big truck goes through, you can potentially, the way the plate glass in the commercial district, you can knock out the entire window," explains Mayor Michael Mullen. "If not, you're still creating waves, and putting higher water inside the properties."

During last September's floods, the area was loaded with people trying to get a personal view of the event. It's hoped colder weather, and a little common sense will keep those numbers down this time.

In fact, the city is even asking business owners, employees and volunteers, to temporarily park in public or private parking lots, to allow cleanup crews to do their jobs.


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