Heavy rains overnight have sent the swollen Ohio River at Cincinnati to its highest point in 20 years with the river expected to remain above flood stage through the end of the week, a National Weather Service meteorologist said Sunday.

Between 1.5 and 2.5 inches of rain fell across the region from Saturday night into early Sunday morning accompanied by damaging high winds and an unconfirmed report of a tornado in Brown County.

Meteorologist Kristen Cassady said the Ohio River reached 60 feet Sunday morning at its Cincinnati recording station, 8 feet above flood stage, and could reach 60.6 feet sometime Sunday. It would be the highest recordings since 1997, when the river reached 64.7 feet.

The Cincinnati Enquirer has reported Cincinnati police had to rescue numerous drivers whose vehicles became trapped in floodwaters.

Local streams and rivers overflowing their banks have caused road closings throughout central and southern Ohio as well as in Holmes County, where the National Weather Service issued a flood warning for Killbuck Creek near the village of Killbuck.

Republican Gov. John Kasich issued an emergency declaration Saturday in 17 southern and eastern counties.

The Ohio River will likely remain above flood stage until the end of the week, fed by its many tributaries, Cassady said.

“The good news is the rain is done and we’ll have a couple of dry days for that water to recede,” she said.

Ohio University in Athens canceled classes for Monday because of the potential for flooding in the Hocking River.

In Springfield Township in Clark County, two donkeys were rescued from a field flooded with 4 feet of water, the Springfield News-Sun reported.