Beacon Journal staff report
A “Texas Hooker” passed through Akron and left worries of downed tree limbs and flooding concerns in its wake.
The strong storm system — also known in weather circles as a Panhandle Hook — brought with it heavy rains and even some rumbles of thunder along with howling winds.
The National Weather Service is warning residents in low-lying areas to keep a watchful eye on rivers and streams as heavy rains combined with melting snow from temperatures flirting with the 50s on Thursday could create flooding problems.
Of particular concern, forecasters warn is the heavy ice pack on most rivers and streams that could create ice jams and cause massive flooding. The area is under a flood watch today.
The potential for dangerous flooding has already prompted the Cuyahoga Valley National Park to closed its Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail until further notice.
The closure includes associated parking lots from Lock 39 Trailhead in Independence to Botzum Trailhead in Akron.
Park officials say staff will make assessments of trail conditions before reopening the trail.
The park also has the other following alerts in effect:
• Returning bald eagles are actively tending to last year’s nest within the Pinery Narrows area in CVNP. To protect the eagles from human disturbance, the area surrounding the nest tree will be closed until July 31.
• Rockside and Canal Visitor Center boarding sites for the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad will be closed through April 27. Through March 16, the train will operate between Akron Northside and Brecksville stations. From March 22 through April, the train will operate between Akron Northside and Peninsula.
• Virginia Kendall Lake remains unavailable for fishing. Due to the recent government shutdown, the park was unable to survey the fish community as scheduled. That will now be done sometime in the spring.
The National Weather Service predicts temperatures will be in the lower 40s today as cloudy skies give way to sunshine in the afternoon. It will be breezy with gusts as high as 25 mph.