Friday Night Update
Both the Kanawha and Ohio remain seasonally high though the crests have now passed in the Winfield, Byrd and Greenup Pools. Downstream on the Mighty Ohio, the crest will pass Portsmouth in the Meldahl Pool early Saturday morning with a steady drop commencing by the first light of day.
Both rivers will be falling steadily this weekend with any backwater problems quickly ending.
Cold and dry weather will allow both rivers to settle to normal winter levels next week.
Mighty Ohio Rises
For the first this winter, the mighty Ohio River is rising with minor high water concerns expected on Friday.
By Thursday evening, the Ohio had risen to 40 feet as measured by the Old Lock 28 gauge in Sybene right across from Huntington. Flood stage here is 50 feet so when the river crests on Friday at 41 feet, only low lying interests along the river will experience some nuisance water issues. That means water will back up on the Symmes and Big Paddy creeks.
At Harris Riverfront Park water will lap to the top half of the steps at the amphitheatre. That crest will pass the Greenup pool on Friday then head downstream to Portsmouth and Vanceburg in the Meldahl pool while the Little Sandy and Scioto Rivers will experience back water issues..
A swift drop is expected along the entire main stem this weekend.
The rise on the Ohio has come thanks to heavy rains the first half of the week especially in southern areas. Water has flushed through smaller feeder rivers like the Big Sandy (Levisa and Tug Forks), Coal and Guyandotte Rivers and then into the main stem.
These smaller rivers caused the usual mashing of teeth for interests along the Levisa, Tug and Coal Rivers. Prestonsburg fire chief Bobby Carpenter told me rescue boats were needed at Archer Park not to transport people but instead to navigate to the park’s electrical outlets which control the fountains.
“The boats were used also to secure picnic tables which might have floated away in the rising waters. No homes, no businesses are at risk. But remember the park is the lowest level of the city and right along the river”, Bobby told me.
As for the Great Kanawha, high water did lap water onto the steps at the Schoenbaum stage at Haddad Park and near the Magic Island volleyball courts.
As reported by Andrew Colegrove, a runaway dock was severed from its moorings near St. Albans and had to be corralled before damaging barges on the River downstream toward Putnam County.
Here’s Andrew’s story.
So again, it’s a Friday of minor high water with no flood warnings issued by this first surge of rain in 2013.