OHIO VALLEY — A flood watch has been issued for Mason, Gallia and Meigs counties through Thursday afternoon, according to the National Weather Service (NWS) out of Charleston, W.Va.
A flood watch means there is a potential for flooding based on current forecasts. As of Tuesday, the NWS stated rounds of moderate to heavy rain and the combination of already saturated soils, may cause flooding. Residents should expect to see strong rises in creeks and streams and eventually, rivers.
Tuesday evening, water level predictions along the Ohio River were predicting flood stage, though minor, would be reached at the Belleville Locks and Dam, as well as at the Racine Locks and Dam, with significantly high water elsewhere in the area.
The water level predictions as of press time on Tuesday evening were as follows from the NWS: Belleville Locks and Dam, crest predicted at 36.3 feet on Sunday. This puts the water into a minor flooding stage with flood stage at 35 feet. Racine Locks and Dam, crest predicted at 41 feet on Sunday. Flood stage is 41 feet at Racine. The NWS does not have a flood gauge at Pomeroy where flood stage is 46 feet. The river crests in Pomeroy are typically three feet higher than Racine (though this can fluctuate depending on the weather), which puts the water crest around 44 feet. As of press time, there had been no official crest prediction for Pomeroy listed by the NWS.
At Point Pleasant, the crest is predicted at 39.9 feet on Sunday, barely below flood stage which is 40 feet. At R.C. Byrd Locks and Dam at Gallipolis Ferry and Eureka, Ohio, the crest is predicted at 45.9 feet on Sunday, below the flood stage which is 50 feet.
All these flood predictions are subject to change, though, if they hold true, in Racine, for example, at 41 feet, Ohio 124 at Antiquity starts to flood. Areas of Ravenswood are flooded upstream from Racine Lock. At Belleville, at 34 feet, water begins to cover Ohio 124 at the mouth of Laucks Run, north of Portland; at 35 feet, Ohio 124 is flooded north of Stiversville Road, at Rock Run, at Wells Run to Smith Ridge to Dewitts Run, at Forked Run, at Curtis Hollow Road and between Long Bottom and Shade River. Ohio State Route 124 near the Washington and Meigs county line, also experiences flooding.
At RC Byrd, at 41 feet, the Spruce Street Chickamauga Creek bridge is closed due to flooding of low areas around the bridge. At 49 feet, sections of Route 7 in Ohio at Teens Run, Chickamauga Creek, Kyger Creek, Clay Chapel, Clay School and just above Route 218 start to flood. Also, sections of Route 2 in West Virginia at Jerry’s Run, the old Coast Guard Station and Glenwood start to flood.
In Point Pleasant, if the water reaches 40 feet, low lying areas surrounding Point Pleasant and vicinity are flooded due to backwater. Also, the ampitheater lower pier at Riverfront Park is flooded and half way up the steps. Salt Creek Road, Hannan Trace Road, Huntington Road at Boggs Run Road and Mason Eighty Road start to flood.
In Pomeroy, at 42 feet, the low spot in the parking lot is flooded near the boat ramp. At 46 feet, the Pomeroy parking lots and the river ampitheater are flooded along the river. Main street starts to flood. Some secondary roads are flooded due to backwater.
These river crest predictions, like the weather, are subject to change and Ohio Valley Publishing will continue to monitor any updates for our readers.
Beth Sergent is editor of Ohio Valley Publishing.