Flooding occurs east of Wheeling; body found in Ohio River

WHEELING, W.Va.¬†—¬†Ohio County got hit with flash flooding for the second week in a row when nearly four inches of rain was recorded over a very short period of time Friday night into Saturday.

The most damage has occurred in communities east of Wheeling, Ohio County Office of Emergency Services Director Lou Vargo said.

“Elm Grove, the town of Triadelphia (Peters Run) and Valley Grove and the runs leading into those towns,” Vargo told MetroNews Saturday.

Authorities believe they found the body of Page Gellner, 18, Friday night in the Ohio River.

Ohio County is one of six counties that are under a state of emergency issued by Gov. Jim Justice in connection with the heavy rains.

“The Elm Grove Shopping Plaza, all of those businesses have been damaged,” Vargo said. “Streets in Elm Grove have a lot of basement flooding.”

One house sustained significant damage with a hillside slid into the rear of the structure. There were also reports of trees falling and damaging homes.

During the storm at about 11:30 p.m. Friday, emergency officials got a call that a body had been spotted in the Ohio River near Heritage Point in Wheeling. It’s believed to be the body of Page Gellner, 18, who went missing in flash flooding last weekend along Browns Run near Triadelphia. The body has been sent to the state Medical Examiner’s Office, Vargo said.

“We feel very confident it is the missing person,” he said.

Wheeling most often gets its weather from the west. Vargo said what happens in Columbus usually ends up Wheeling but the flooding storms of the last two weekends have been different. He said the storm system that produced last week’s flood on Browns Run just popped up while the latest high water event took on more of a winter weather pattern.

“The cell was actually backfeeding on itself and as it was moving to the east it circled around and came back over Wheeling,” Vargo said.

Damage assessment teams were working in the flooded areas Saturday afternoon.

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