OHIO VALLEY — Days of rain, a little snow, and more rain in the region have led to concerns over flooding.
With the region under a flash flood watch until mid-day on Thursday, small streams and creeks are forecasted to overflow their banks, causing flooded roadways around Meigs, Gallia and Mason Counties.
But the flash flood threat is not the only concern, as the mighty Ohio River is making its presence known around the area.
Projections on Wednesday afternoon from the National Weather Service, forecast river levels to remain below flood stage throughout Meigs County and at the Robert C. Byrd Locks and Dam in Gallia and Mason counties, while rising above flood stage in Point Pleasant. The current forecasted levels could change due to additional rainfall in the region and further upstream which has an impact on the water level.
Point Pleasant is the lone river gauge projected to reach flood stage, with a recorded elevation at noon on Wednesday less than a six inches below the flood stage of 40 feet. A crest is Point Pleasant is forecasted for late Friday night or early Saturday morning at a level of 43.1 feet, more than three feet above flood stage.
According to the National Weather Service, an elevation of 40 feet in Point Pleasant causes low-lying areas surrounding Point Pleasant and the nearby areas to flood due to backwater. Also, the amphitheater lower pier 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 at 40 feet. At 42 feet, Little Kyger Road on the Ohio side of the river becomes flooded, with 43 feet placing water on Ohio State Route 7 in Kyger Creek and Addison.
The crest at the Robert C. Byrd Locks and Dam is projected at 48.2 feet early Saturday, staying below the flood stage of 50 feet at the Lock.
As of Wednesday afternoon, the Ohio River is projected to crest at 32.5 feet at Belleville Lock on Friday afternoon, staying below the flood stage of 35 feet.
At the Racine Lock, the crest is projected at 38.7 feet late Friday, keeping it below the flood stage of 41 feet. This level would nearly match a Dec. 2018 crest which was 38.84 feet, the most recent recorded high water crest at the location.
On Wednesday, water had filled the lower area of the Pomeroy Parking Lot, reaching nearly 40 feet, but is expected to crest on Friday at a level of 42.6 feet. In Pomeroy, 46 feet is flood stage, placing water on the roadway in town.
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Sarah Hawley is the managing editor of The Daily Sentinel.