POMEROY — As the area continues to recover from this past weekend’s flooding, it appears as through round two may be coming.
Inmates from the Gallia County Work Release Center in Cheshire were in Pomeroy on Wednesday working to clear branches, trash and other items left from the flooding.
Meigs County Sheriff Keith Wood said that the work crew was set up by the efforts of Kevin Werry from the Gallia County Sheriff’s Office and local magistrate Linda Warner in conjunction with Gallia County Sheriff Matt Champlin.
The work release clean up crew comes on the heels of many hours of work from the Pomeroy Volunteer Fire Department to clean up the remnants of the flooding in the downtown area.
But as clean up takes place, all eyes are on the Ohio River as early forecasts for the weekend water levels show the return of flood waters to the streets.
The National Weather Service forecasting projects significant river flooding is possible in the region from Saturday, Feb. 24 to Monday, Feb. 26.
On Wednesday afternoon, the forecast at the Racine Lock shows the river currently below flood stage, but is projected to return to minor flood stage by Saturday afternoon. Minor flood stage at Racine is 41 feet, with moderate at 44 feet and major flood stage at 48 feet. Currently, the forecast shows the water at a level of 43.6 feet on Sunday afternoon.
At Belleville Lock in Reedsville, the river is projected to return to minor flood stage (35 feet) by Saturday morning, with a height of 37.5 feet by Sunday afternoon. Moderate flood stage is 38 feet, with major flood stage at 45 feet at Belleville.
In Pomeroy, the river is projected to return to minor flood stage of 46 feet on Saturday night, with a height of 47.2 feet forecasted on Sunday afternoon. Moderate flood stage is 48 feet, with major flood stage at 50 feet. Pomeroy saw flooding above major flood stage on Sunday with a crest of 50.4 feet.
In Point Pleasant, the river is projected to return to minor flood stage with the latest forecast suggesting it will hit 42.3 feet on Sunday. Flood stage in Point Pleasant is 40 feet. As of Wednesday afternoon, the water had finally dipped below flood stage, measuring 39.31 feet.
At the R.C. Byrd Locks and Dam, the river is projected to hit 47.6 feet on Sunday with flood stage at 50 feet. On Wednesday afternoon, the water level had dropped to 44.1 feet.
These forecast levels are very likely to change over the next few days depending on the amount of rainfall in the area upstream (toward Pittsburgh).
Updated forecasts can be found at weather.gov.
Sarah Hawley is the managing editor of The Daily Sentinel.