Valley Under Water



From staff and

wire reports

Though the Ohio River crested at 37.94 feet in Marietta at 1 a.m. Sunday and reports of water receding throughout the day came in, the Marietta Police Department and Safety-Service Director Jonathan Hupp confirmed water was still rising on Fourth, Pike and Greene streets as of Sunday night.

“(The Ohio) River and mother nature (aren’t) ready to release us yet,” Hupp said.

On Pike Street business owners took to social media to plead with drivers to stay off the road, noting vehicles driving through the water were pushing it higher onto their sandbag barricades and stoops.

Memorial Health System tweeted that it was in the process of calling patients scheduled for lab work and appointments at its Wayne Street office to reschedule.

Downtown merchants like American Flags and Poles and Dad’s Primitive Workbench were hesitant to restock their wares, worried for the forecast later this week.

“We’re doing pretty good trying to decide what to do with all this rain coming this week,” said Melissa Arnold, who works for the flag shop. “I think that is the dilemma for every downtown business at this point.”

The shop was swarmed Saturday by volunteers removing flags, shelving and ultimately carpet from the business after owner Sylvi Caporale noted that the building first sees water come up from its basement in a flood.

Charlie Clay, owner of Dad’s Primitive Workbench, said Sunday he felt drained after the two days of moving items from not only his store but others, but he also was grateful for all of the help.

“Since this is my first close call, we didn’t hesitate to empty. I have to say it was the most stressful weekend of owning a small business but also the most rewarding to see our community come together and help, it was heart warming. We also got to pay it forward and my sister, Charla (Hall) and her girls went to our friends and were able to offer some assistance back too,” he said. “I can’t say thank you enough to everyone who helped us. We are waiting a few days to load back in so we can do some cleaning and painting and also waiting to see the future forecasts.”

In Harmar, Boathouse BBQ was underwater throughout Sunday and many of the mobile homes near the river saw water in their yards. But the water didn’t get as far as the Fearing House, Busy Bee or Passiflora Studio, though it neared the back parking lot of Harmar Elementary School.

“We didn’t have any water in the basement, which I’m grateful for,” said Passiflora owner Caroline Waller.

As for planned events scheduled for today, Kyle Yoho, education director with The Castle, said the History on Trial presentation at the Washington County Courthouse will still go on as scheduled at 11 a.m. at the courthouse for the school-age audience and 1 p.m. for the general public.

The National Weather Service’s flood warning will remain in effect for areas along the Ohio River at Willow Island Lock, the Marietta Pumphouse, at Parkersburg, at Belleville Lock and further down the river.

Photo provided by Nathan Reich

This image taken from a drone shows the confluence of the Ohio and Muskingum rivers in Marietta. The National Weather Service river level Sunday evening was 37.35 ft, below the expected crest of 40.1 ft.

The area also includes Gallia, Lawrence, Meigs, Scioto and Washington counties in Ohio as well as Cabell, Jackson, Mason, Pleasants, Tyler, Wayne and Wood in West Virginia.

The weather service reported at 2 p.m. Sunday the Ohio River at the Marietta Pumphouse was at 37.7 feet with flood stage at 35.0 feet.

“The river will continue to fall to below flood stage by early (today),” the weather service said in its flood warning.

At stages near 38.0 feet in Marietta, Elmwood Avenue at Ash, Hart, Pike and Charles Streets at Seventh Street, Church at Second Street, Butler at Fifth Street, Ohio Street at Second and Third Streets were all flooded, the weather service reported.

The weather service reported at 2 p.m. Sunday the Ohio River at Parkersburg was at 39.6 feet with flood stage at 36 feet.

At stages near 40.0 feet, most of Happy Valley is flooded. Sections of Vienna along the Ohio River was flooded and Walnut and John streets in Belpre were flooded.

The weather service is continuing to remind people do not drive into areas where water is flowing over the roadway.

“Most deaths occur when motorists try crossing flooded roads,” the weather service said.

Due to high water in Marietta on Sunday morning, the Williamstown Bridge was closed until further notice. An alternate route recommended by officials involved going to Belpre and then taking State Route 7 to Marietta.

Wood County Schools will be on a two-hour delay today due to flooded roadways which have impacted a number of bus routes throughout Wood County. Staff will report at the regular time for faculty senate make-up.

While Presidents Day is normally a holiday, district officials had recently made it an attendance day to make up for snow days missed earlier this year.

Belpre City Schools has today off as Presidents Day was a scheduled holiday since the district does not have any snow days to make up at this point.

At 11:30 a.m. Saturday, at the intersection of Tiger Creek Road and Sams Creek Road in Mineral Wells, emergency crews had to respond to a Toyota Rav4 stuck in flood waters

Camden Clark Ambulance, Mineral Wells Volunteer Fire Department, Wirt County Volunteer Fire Department and the Natural Resource Police all responded to the scene. Wirt County deployed a boat and the Natural Resource Police deployed two kayaks to rescue the driver. One of the kayaks was able to retrieve Larry Gene Foust, 70, of Mineral Wells, and get him to shore.

Foust was transported to the Camden Clark Medical Center for treatment.

The Wood/Wirt 911 Center had a report of two vehicles who tried to drive through high water on 36th Street Sunday and stalled. Both had to be towed out. No injuries were reported.

High water was not the only problem faced by residents over the weekend. A surprisingly fast and heavy snowfall covered area roadways on Saturday afternoon, causing numerous problems and accidents.

Wood County Sheriff’s Deputy Brett Pickens said between 2:15-9:15 p.m. on Saturday, the sheriff’s office investigated 32 reported crashes in Wood County. Information about the full extent of the problems caused by Saturday afternoon’s snowfall was not available Sunday.

Looking ahead, rain is expected to continue to be a possibility during the coming week.

The weather service is reporting there is a 50 percent chance of rain today with a high near 70. There is expected to be a break with partly sunny skies and warm temperatures Tuesday with the high expected to reach 79.

The rain may return Wednesday with a 60 percent chance during the day and 70 percent into the night with a high of 74 and a low of 44. There will be a 60 percent chance of rain Thursday dropping to a 30 percent that night with a high of 53 and a low of 43. Rain is expected Friday and Saturday with a 50 percent on Friday and increasing to a 70 percent chance by Saturday.

Road closures

The following roads were still closed as of Sunday evening:

– Post Street.

– Greene Street to Seventh Street.

– Front Street to Putnam Street.

– Second Street to Putnam Street.

– Third Street to Putnam Street.

– Fourth Street to Putnam Street.

– Butler Street.

– Union Street.

– The 800 and 900 blocks of Front Street.

– Pike Street to Acme Street.

– Most streets south of Greene and Pike streets including: South Third, South Fourth, South Fifth, South Sixth, South Seventh and South Eighth.

– Pine Alley.

– Charles Street.

– Elmwood Street.

– Pennsylvania Avenue.

– Wayne Street.

– Linwood Avenue.

– Several unspecified alleys.

Source: Jonathan Hupp

Photo provided by Nathan Reich

This image taken from a drone shows the confluence of the Ohio and Muskingum rivers in Marietta. The National Weather Service river level Sunday evening was 37.35 ft, below the expected crest of 40.1 ft. [Click for More]