Rivers likely to remain below flood stage

PARKERSBURG – Despite recent rains, including unseasonable thunderstorms, area waterways are not expected to breach their banks any time soon, an official said.

“There are no problems expected any time soon with high water,” said hydrologist John Sikora with the National Weather Service in Charleston. “All of the water that came from the meltage of the snow on Wednesday moved out of the area quickly.”

The 10 inches of snow that had been on the ground before the warm-up on Wednesday melted and equated to about two inches of rain; it did little to fill the creek and river beds.

“Duck Creek is actually already coming down,” Sikora said.

The creek, which is about 30-miles long, crested in Macksburg on Wednesday at 12 feet, below its flood stage of 13 feet, he said.

The Muskingum, Little Kanawha and Ohio rivers are expected to crest on Sunday, all below flood stage.

“All of the area waterways, including rivers, will stay below their flood stage and crest Sunday before they start to recede,” Sikora said. “Everything has risen a little with the rain and snow melting, but it wasn’t enough to do harm.”

Sikora said the thunderstorms early Wednesday morning and Thursday did not drop enough rain on the Mid-Ohio Valley to cause concern.

“The biggest threat is the melting snow and ice, but since most of it is gone, there really is nothing to worry about,” he said.

The Ohio River is expected to crest in Marietta around 28 feet and in Parkersburg around 29 feet, about seven feet below flood stage. Marietta’s flood stage is 35 feet and Parkersburg’s flood stage is 36 feet.

The last major flooding the Mid-Ohio Valley experienced was in January 2005.