OHIO VALLEY —With Spring well underway the rains have continued to fall, bringing with it nourishment for plants, rising waters, and a number of hazards for motorists.
According to the National Weather Service and NOAA, the current water levels for Racine Locks and Dam, Robert C. Byrd Locks and Dam, and the Ohio — Kanawha River junction at Point Pleasant, are all within normal ranges. All three sites are currently between 25 and 30 feet, and expected to crest early Sunday. Byrd will crest at the highest, 37.5 feet and Point Pleasant at 30.4 feet being the lowest. All three will crest 10 feet below the flood stage.
According to John Sikora of the NWS out of Charleston, the weather service based out of Wilmington, Ohio gives predictions for river levels in the Ohio Valley Area. They use data covering precipitation, ground saturation, and upstream flow to predict water levels. According to Sikora, Wilmington’s predictions are accurate nine times out of 10.
In addition to flooding along the river, flooding along streams is also being monitored.
According to Ashley Rittenhouse from the Ohio Department of Transportation: “Anytime motorists see high water signs on the roadways, we would encourage them to pay attention to them. As the saying goes, ‘turn around, don’t drown’.”
Rittenhouse also explained how difficult it is to properly gauge the depth of standing water on roadways and the risk of the pavement being washed away due to flooding.
As of Thursday afternoon, list of Gallia County roads that are underwater, or at a risk of being underwater with further rain include Alice, Keystone, Coal Valley, Woodside, Woods Mill, Dan Jones, Symms Creek, Ingalls, Northup, and Yellowtown. Ohio 554 between 160 and 7 is also underwater. Cora Mill road, Maple Grove, as well as many others along Raccoon Creek are susceptible to flooding.
According to the central dispatch office in Mason County, there were no road closings due to flooding as of Thursday afternoon. The same was true for Meigs county.
Reach Morgan McKinniss at 740-446-2342 or firstname.lastname@example.org