UPDATE: Local officials say high water concerns not as bad as expected

MARIETTA, Ohio (WTAP) - UPDATE 9/11/18

Wood and Washington County officials say the high water concerns caused by the Ohio River have not been as severe as expected.

As of 7:00 p.m. Tuesday night, the river in Marietta reached 35.29 feet and is expected to reach 35.5 feet by 2:00 a.m Wednesday. The levels in Parkersburg hit 34.98 feet as of 7:00 p.m. and should hit its crest of 35.1 feet by late Tuesday night.

"Looks like the river is finally starting to slow down," Washingon County EMA Director Richard Hays said. "They're predicting crest at 2:00 am at 35.7 which that's minor flooding for some of the areas of the county."

"A lot of the secondary streams have already started going down and some of the flooding on the secondary roads has already receded."

"We did not see anything that we normally would not see in these kind of conditions," Wood County 911 Center director Rick Woodyard said, "35 feet is what it's supposed to crest later and we haven't seen any flooding outside of what's normal for our area."

Governor Jim Justice declared a state of preparedness Tuesday in anticipation of Hurricane Florence. Woodyard added that he believes high winds will be more of a concern from Florence than any severe rain totals. Hays says they will continue to monitor the river levels and the forecasts as Florence approaches at the end of the week.


Washington County officials and property owners along the Ohio River are watching the levels closely as it continues to rise.

At the Marietta Pumphouse, levels continued to rise, reaching up to 32.26 feet as of 7:00 p.m. Monday. It is expected to crest between Tuesday and Wednesday up to 36 feet.

Back in February, the river reached almost 37.94 feet, causing some flooding concerns for businesses and homeowners.

Officials and at-risk property owners say they are always on high alert when the river rises.

"You know the Red Cross is involved, Salvation Army, there are a lot of agencies that spring into action," Washington County Sheriff Larry Mincks said, "and we work together at our emergency operations center."

"The way it's looking right now we're not too awfully concerned," said Clayton Wise, who owns a home on Ohio Street near the shore. "It was worse back in February. But as long as it doesn't rise much higher I think we'll be ok."

Frontier School district made the decision Monday morning to close all of its schools Tuesday due to high water concerns.

To check on the current river levels, click the link in the related links section (upper right of the page for desktops; bottom of the page for mobile devices).

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