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Mid-Ohio Valley weathering high water, dropping temperatures

High water from the Ohio River was moving up a boat ramp behind the Belpre Shrine Club building along Blennerhassett Avenue on Thursday as river levels have risen due to rain over the last couple of days. (Photo by Brett Dunlap)

PARKERSBURG — As rain moves out of the Parkersburg and Marietta area, higher waters and minor flooding have occurred.

A cold front is bringing colder temperatures today.

The rain stopped by Thursday afternoon, but water levels of creeks and small streams will continue to rise, especially tributaries to the Ohio River where backwater issues are occurring or are imminent, the National Weather Service in Charleston said Thursday.

Frontier Local Schools dismissed its students at noon Thursday due to high water. Caldwell Exempted Village School District had a two-hour delay Thursday morning because of weather conditions.

Meteorologist Megan Kiebler of the National Weather Service in Charleston said the rain was moving out of the area Thursday afternoon with only around a 10-20 percent chance of precipitation today.

High water from the Ohio River flooded some of the low-lying areas near Civitan Park in Belpre on Thursday. The Ohio River is expected to crest this morning at 31.8 feet, which is below flood stage. (Photo by Brett Dunlap)

Over a 24-hour period from Wednesday to Thursday, the Parkersburg area received around an inch of rainfall, according to measurements taken at the Mid-Ohio Valley Regional Airport, Kiebler said.

At 2 p.m. Thursday the Ohio River was at 30.97 feet. It is expected to crest at 31.8 feet at 7 a.m. today, the weather service said. The Ohio River at the Marietta Pumphouse was at 30.27 feet at 2 p.m.. It was expected to crest at 30.3 feet at 7 p.m. Thursday.

The flood stage in Parkersburg is 36 feet while in Marietta it is 35 feet.

In McConnelsville, Ohio, the Muskingum River remained below the 9-foot action level at 8.43 feet at 2:30 p.m. Thursday. Flood stage is 11 feet.

The low overnight was expected to reach around 20 degrees, creating the possibility for freezing conditions today for the water that remains on the ground.

It is expected to be sunny over the next couple of days with a high of 27 today and a low of 17 tonight, the weather service reported. It will remain sunny on Saturday with a high of 42 and a low of 31 and cloudy on Sunday with a high near 46 and a low of 29.

The next possibility for rain will not occur until Monday evening, Kiebler said. The weather service is reporting a chance of showers after 9 p.m. with a 50 percent chance of precipitation.

The Wood County 911 Center reported no calls on Thursday related to high water, a supervisor said, adding the 500 block of Stillwell Road and the 300 block of Waverly Road had been closed due to water.

The Washington County Emergency Management Office in Marietta reported partial road closings due to high water as of noon Thursday, including Rainbow Road, Greenleaf Road, County Road 9 at Hills Bridge Road, Hills Bridge Road at Hanshoemaker Road, Stanleyville Narrors Road at Nichols Road, Jet Hill Road at County Road 9, Buell’s Run Road at State Route 821 and Main Street in Macksburg.

Officials in Athens County reported State Route 56, between the Vinton County line and the city of Athens, and State Route 681, between SR 356 and U.S. 50, were closed Thursday due to high water.

Drivers are reminded that they should never attempt to travel through high water, they added.

Over the next 24 hours, West Virginia agencies will continue to monitor weather, water levels and road closures, assure emergency communications through the state Interoperable Radio Network (SIRN), and respond to resource requests from local emergency management agencies, officials said.

Brett Dunlap can be reached at bdunlap@newsandsentinel.com

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