Mighty Ohio on the Rise
This week’s spring rains accumulated a general one to three inches across the Ohio Valley. Since the grounds across the valley started the week wet from last week’s rains, the wheels were set into motion for the mighty Ohio to give us a high water scare.
Let me state up front that the river is not going into flood. I say that since the fine hydrologists at the National weather Service have run their computer simulations of the Ohio and its many tributaries. Their pinpoint forecast has the Racine dam gauge grazing its flood stage by Friday then beginning a steady fall.
At Pomeroy where there are no flood walls and the back to back floods of September 2004 and January 2005 are still fresh in mind. Friday’s crest will be one foot or so below flood stage. This will put water into the Bandstand on the Riverfront, but will not be high enough for overflow onto Main Street. Still the view from the Wild Horse Café will be awesome!
In the RC Byrd pool, Pt. Pleasant should come close to touching it’s 40 foot flood stage on Saturday before dropping steadily by Sunday. Meanwhile, the founding French fathers in Gallipolis, the city of Gauls, loved their natural riverfront back in the 1700s since the city was protected by a naturally steep bank which doubles as a flood wall of sorts.
In the Greenup Pool, the stretch from Huntington to Ashland and Ironton and Greenup will crest Saturday about 2 feet below flood stage. The official flood stage in Huntington is 50 feet as measured in Sybene Ohio across from Westmoreland where the Old Lock 28 was situated way back when. Forty-Eight feet is the predicted crest on Saturday here, so expect the Symmes and Big Paddy creeks to be backing up until further notice.
In the Meldahl Pool, Portsmouth city is taking a double whammy with rain waters from Columbus flowing south along the Scioto River and the water on the Ohio passing Shawnee State having flowed thru the Greenup dam.
At Alexandria Point, the Scioto and Ohio confluence, both rivers are swamping the nearby Boone Coleman farmlands with a few access roads into West Portsmouth closed in the rising tide of silt and mud. Here the river won’t officially go into flood, but levels will remain very high until Monday when the river falls swiftly.
If you want to bookmark a neat river stage site, try this one the pros at the National Weather Service have set up for us to use.
On the left side of the page, go to the HYDROLOGY PAGE, then hit the ADVANCED HYDROLOGY PREDICTION SERVICE and you will get all sorts of hydrographs that will help you to keep tabs of your favorite gauge on our rivers.
In a nutshell, it’s close call but mainly just tributary backup as the Mighty Ohio ambles its way 981 muddy miles from its source at old Three Rivers Stadium in Pittsburgh to its mouth at Cairo Illinois.