High-water problems to mount

The weeklong rain pattern has legs into Thursday and even Friday. This spells high-water problems along streams and rivers in the Tri-State.

HUNTINGTON/CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) --

  • Flood watch extended temporally (time) and spatially (wider area)
  • Soggy ground a sitting duck for flash flooding
  • Rivers to rise and stay high into Memorial Day weekend

    Late Wednesday night, a series of “Areal” Flood Warnings as issued by the National Weather Service (NWS) has folks in Northern Kanawha, Southern Roane, Southern Jackson and Northwestern Clay counties thinking twice about overnight travel.

    The word “Areal” denotes a broad area where many small streams flow and in this case rise to near or above bank level. In this remote part of West Virginia, there can be numerous dips on roads where small streams can overflow and create a hazard for motorists, especially at night when there is limited vision. A 911 official told NewsChannel 3 that tributaries to the Pocatalico River south of Walton had spilled out of their banks in response to the evening rainfall. Part of Route 119 heading north of Clendenin toward Spencer had taken on water.

    Given the expected overnight steady rain pattern, it appeared likely that the first light of day would bring about new warnings from the NWS. Road closures and detours would occur in these areas.

    The Thursday rain pattern looked to include more heavy rains in the morning with a sporadic and widely scattered look to the rain by afternoon.

    While Friday looks to start rain free, the matador upper air whirlpool of this pattern was to cross directly during the afternoon. This was likely to sponsor a few hours of sunshine followed by heavy afternoon downpours and the chance of a localized cloudburst. So the risk of new flooding will persist into Friday night.

    Meanwhile our intricate river system, which includes many small tributaries to the Kanawha, Ohio, Big Sandy and Scioto, will see impressive rises that will play havoc with holiday weekend recreation plans.