Eyes on Ohio and Kanawha Rivers

After a drenching rain storm, you would expect our rivers to be high. Tony blogs of the rises on the Kanawha and especially the Ohio from Wheeling to Portsmouth.

High Water on Ohio

Tuesday’s rains gushed down to the tune of a general 1.5” to 3” along the entire 981 mile stretch of the Mighty Ohio and for that matter the vast expanse of the Great Kanawha River Basin.

In effect almost an entire month’s of rain soaked our region in a day and half. Since the rain fell over such a large area, major rises on our rivers are to be expected.

Locally, the hydrologists at the National Weather Service have run their computer models that simulate our rivers and no “above flood stage” crests are expected. Still important backwater problems on the Ohio will occur on feeder streams like the Hocking, Guyandotte, Scioto and Little Sandy to name a few.

On the Great Kanawha, the river should crest just below bank level at Magic Island on Thursday, a full 15 feet below flood stage. As that water reaches Battle Monument National Park in Point Pleasant it will meet up with water flowing downstream from Pittsburgh, hence the stout rise on the river in the Byrd, Greenup and Meldahl pools.

Now upstream from Parkersburg into the Pittsburgh and Wheeling area, a crest near or above flood stage will make for a dicey situation for weekend travelers to Oglebay Park and Wheeling Island. A Friday morning crest will likely leak enough water onto Wheeling Island to produce some nuisance high water.

By Friday night’s Ravenswood Red Devil championship game, the river will be falling steadily and well below flood stage. Then by Saturday’s Wahama White Falcon game, the Ohio will have fallen 10 feet or more below flood stage.

The main problem the Ohio’s rise into Wheeling will have produced will be ice. Anywhere water has collected from the river’s rise, will leave behind puddles which will freeze and stay frozen thru the cold weekend ahead.

So visitors to Wheeling should be careful of their steps!

Of course the rain changed to snow showers on Wednesday with many areas picking up the first thin coating of snow of the season.

I will blog about our snow prospects for the weekend and next week with Friday’s blog.
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