Ohio River expected to crest above flood stage through Monday morning impacting West Virginia communities

WHEELING, W.Va. — The National Weather Service says the Ohio River is expected to crest at Wheeling Saturday might at just below 39 feet, approximately three feet above flood stage.

If that crest forecast holds true, that would be at the top end of what is considered minor flooding in Wheeling. Last week’s crest topped 41 feet and was considered moderate flooding.

The southern portion of Wheeling Island began to flood Saturday morning.

Ohio County Emergency Management Director Lou Vargo said residents who have just finished cleaning up flooded basements on Wheeling Island will be faced with doing it again.

“Some of the residents who just cleaned up from last week will be affected this week,” Vargo told Metro.

Hollywood Casino at Wheeling Island closed Friday until further notice. The casino does have a handful of workers on site.

Vargo said the Wheeling area picked up around 1.5 inches of rain Thursday night into Friday morning. Further north, there was flooding in the Pittsburgh area that dumped more water into the Ohio River. More than six inches of rain has been recorded in Pittsburgh since April 1.

The Ohio is expected to crest at Moundsville Saturday night at 41.4 feet about four feet above flood stage. That level would be considered moderate flooding.

Marshall County Emergency Services Director Tom Hart said the riverfront area of Moundsville will likely take on water.

“It will be more of an inconvenience. The River Park area and a couple of businesses will be impacted,” Hart said.

The river will also likely cause problems up river at Benwood, Hart said.

The National Weather Service in Charleston said Saturday that the Ohio River at Parkersburg is expected to crest in moderate flood stage Sunday morning at 38.9 feet.

The floodgates were used at Parkersburg last week while areas outside the floodwall took on water. The same can be expected with the new crest.

Point Pleasant may see a higher Ohio River than it did last week. The National Weather Service predicted Saturday morning the river would crest at 44.6 feet Sunday night at 8 o’clock. That’s four feet above flood stage and considered moderate flooding.

Point Pleasant doesn’t install its floodgates until the river reaches 45 feet.

Forecasters say the Ohio will crest at 50.6 feet at Huntington Monday morning which is just above flood stage, putting the crest in the minor category.

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