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Update: All eyes on the rivers

(WTAP)
Published: Feb. 12, 2020 at 7:11 PM EST
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Update: 2/13/2020

As of Thursday afternoon, the high water was still mostly at its worst in Ohio counties.

The exception to that was Mason County, where the Ohio River was above flood stage.

The Ohio River Thursday afternoon was still above flood stage at Parkersburg, Marietta and Willow Island, although the river crest predictions have been revised.

It was also still below flood stage at reporting points as far north at Pittsburgh.

But in northern Washington County, it was a different story.

The flooding there was enough for Frontier Local Schools to close its doors as of noon Thursday.

"Six of our nine buses travel on (Ohio) route 26, and that's where the problem is," Superintendent Beth Brown told us. "Currently, the water is out in eight different places along that route. When it affects 3/4 of your drivers, and affects 3/4 of our district, then we have to take precautions to get everyone home safe."

High water was reported in northern Washington County along Duck Creek in Macksburg, Whipple and Harrietsburg, and along the Little Muskingum River at Bloomfield.

We've also received flooding reports from Noble County.

Wood County's 911 center told us portions of Stillwell and Waverly roads were closed early Thursday morning by high water. No other road closings were reported Thursday afternoon.


2/12/2020

Will the rain that falls in the next 24 hours affect the river water levels?

"I don't think we can hold much more water here," replied Mike Shook, Wood County Emergency Services Director. "It's going to be significant."

But so far, creeks that flow into the rivers have remained fairly steady, and the same was true Wednesday with the rivers themselves.

"The Little Muskingum had some flooding Monday,(but) it was just up on the roadway and went down fairly quickly," said Richard Hays, Emergency Services Director, Washington County. "On Duck Creek, we didn't have any reports of water across the road, but it was up at Macksburg and some of the Whipple Straits area."

In the next 24 to 48 hours, area river watchers are not just going to be monitoring what comes down from the sky in our area. They're also going to be watching areas north and south of us along the Ohio River.

"Depending on whatever Pittsburgh gets, it affects our raising of the Ohio River," Hays said . "So if Pittsburgh would get more rain than we're predicting, that could change."

"I'm watching up north, but I'm more concentrated on the south," Shook noted, "because the water is starting to rise along the Ohio River south of us, and I suspect it's going to work its way up river."

Major flooding is not expected on the rivers, but it all depends on Mother Nature.

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