OHIO VALLEY — Days of steady rain in the Ohio Valley and surrounding areas, have caused waters to rise, first with flash flooding and now with the Ohio River.
On Thursday night and much of the day Friday streams and creeks in the area overflowed their banks, covering roadways and creating transportation issues for motorists.
While Southern and Meigs local schools began their days with delays due to power outages, it was the rising waters which sent students from Eastern and Meigs home early on Friday afternoon.
Friday’s flash flooding is not the end of the water woes for the region as Ohio River forecasts on Friday afternoon project moderate flooding in the region — including Pomeroy’s downtown business district.
The National Weather Service issued a River Flood Warning for the region on Friday morning, stating that the river will not go below flood stage until Tuesday morning in Racine and Pomeroy, and Tuesday evening in Point Pleasant.
Starting at the northern end of the Ohio River in Meigs County, a crest is expected at 40.6 feet on Sunday afternoon at Belleville Locks in Reedsville. Flood stage at Belleville is 35 feet. The projected crest would be the highest at that location since January 2005.
At Racine, the crest is projected at 45.5 feet on Sunday evening, more than four feet above the flood stage of 41 feet.
A water level of 45. 5 feet would cause flooding along Route 124 in Minersville and Antiquity, as well as areas around Forked Run and down river toward Racine. On the West Virginia side, Route 62 would be flooded just below the Racine Local at West Creek.
Pomeroy will also be a trouble spot, as water is forecasted to overflow the parking lot and reach the stores on Main Street. With a forecasted crest of 49.1 feet at 7 p.m. on Sunday, the river will not drop below flood stage until Tuesday. Flood stage in Pomeroy is 46 feet. In addition to flooding along the river, secondary roads also flood due to backwater.
Further down river, a crest is expected around lunchtime on Monday in Point Pleasant at 45.2 feet, more than five feet above the flood stage of 40 feet. This water level causes flooding to main roadways along both the Ohio and West Virginia sides of the river, including the Henderson, W.Va. area and the Addison and Kyger Creek areas in Ohio.
At Robert C. Byrd Lock in Eureka, the water is projected to crest at the minor flood stage level of 50.6 feet on Monday afternoon. Flood stage at the Lock is 50 feet. The river level causes flooding along Route 7, as well as potentially impacting areas of Gallipolis which are located directly on the river front.
Information from the National Weather Service Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service.
Sarah Hawley is the managing editor of The Daily Sentinel.