Weekend weather to bring relief

PARKERSBURG – Residents will have the chance to enjoy a brief respite from the frigid temperatures today and Sunday, before the cold weather returns early next week.

The warmer weather will allow residents the chance to get out of their homes and enjoy temperatures that will get into the 50s by mid-day. Freezing temperatures will return on Sunday evening.

With the warmer weather comes the anticipated melting of snow, filling potholes and creating puddles across the Mid-Ohio Valley.

The melt off will be gradual and shouldn’t cause any immediate risks of flooding, said Kevin McGarth, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Charleston.

The melting snow will be joined by showers from a system that will pass over the Mid-Ohio Valley tonight, McGarth said.

The rain should begin around 1 a.m. Sunday and should end by 11 a.m., McGarth said.

The rain on top of the melting river ice could lead to minor flooding along headwater areas, McGarth said. The National Weather Service will be monitoring the situation and will make announcements throughout the weekend as required, he said.

Fewer calls about broken pipes have led the Parkersburg Fire Department to believe residents heeded warnings of cold temperature dangers during the recent cold snap, said Capt. Tim Flinn with the fire department.

As of Friday afternoon, the fire department had fielded only two calls about broken pipes, Flinn said.

Streets across the region have minor puddles, with new potholes being hidden beneath the water’s surface.

All streets are clear in Vienna, said Mayor Randy Rapp. The recently constructed 40th Street drainage has functioned well during this first extended freeze, Rapp said.

Residents and businesses in Vienna are asked to clear their sidewalks, Rapp said. Handicapped citizens are having trouble navigating the ice-covered sidewalks, which is creating dangerous conditions throughout the city for those on foot, Rapp said.

Parkersburg residents are asked to clear their sidewalks over the weekend as well, said Mayor Bob Newell.

“The sidewalks belong to the individual property owner, not the city,” Newell said.

Point Park will remain closed even though the Ohio River is thawing, Newell said. Concerns about the river rising due to ice jams are prompting the continued closure of the park, Newell said.

Water line breaks were reported along Blizzard Drive in Parkersburg on Thursday, Newell said.

Newell hopes for a chance to clean up from the piles of snow left all over the city from plowing. He also hopes that the underlying ice will melt away before any additional wintry weather arrives.

Several Parkersburg streets are in poor shape due to the extended freeze, Newell said. Potholes abound, even on recently paved roads, he said.

The city of Parkersburg plans to repair potholes as soon as the weather warms enough to allow it, although the relief could be as far off as March or April, depending on the weather, Newell said.

A chance of snow on Sunday night will give way to daily temperatures fluctuating between the 30- to 40-degree mark through Wednesday.