Minor issues as river crests

COVERED WITH WATER — Brooke High School’s practice soccer field was covered with water from nearby Cross Creek Monday. -- Warren Scott

The Ohio River crested this morning from New Cumberland to Wellsburg with no major problems reported.

The National Weather Service had predicted the river to crest at 37.5 feet in New Cumberland, about 1.5 feet above flood stage.

Bob Fowler, Brooke County Emergency Management Agency director, said the river crested at 38.3 feet in Wellsburg, about 2 feet above flood stage. He said the south end of Charles Street, below the intersection of state Routes 2 and 67, was closed due to high water. Fourth Street also has been closed from Commerce to Charles streets. He said a couple of homes in that area had experienced some flooding, but the Wellsburg Volunteer Fire Department had not been called as of early this morning to pump out basements.

Jefferson County Sheriff Fred Abdalla said everything appeared to be OK in northern Jefferson County near Stratton.

“We are in good shape,” he said.

CREEK ON THE RISE — Raymond Godina of Bethany observed the flow of Buffalo Creek along the backyards of his and his daughter’s residences on Church Street Monday morning. Many area officials are monitoring the level of the Ohio River and area creeks. -- Warren Scott

Jeremy Ober, Hancock County Emergency Management Agency director, said he wasn’t expecting any major problems with the high water.

“Thankfully, it will be a little less than they (weather service) thought it was going to be,” he said.

Schools in Brooke and Hancock counties were on a three-hour delay today.

EMA officials now have their eyes focused on what may come this way from Hurricane Florence.

Tom Green, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service’s Moon Township office, said the hurricane will slow down once it makes landfall and stall over the Carolinas. He anticipates most of the rainfall to be east of the Appalachian Mountains once the storm begins to move north.

“At this point, we aren’t expecting an impact (here),” Green said.

Florence is expected to come ashore as a strong hurricane bringing heavy flooding to the Carolinas.

Ober said the Ohio River can’t take a back-to-back major rainfall during such a short period.

The river was at 13 feet prior to the weekend’s heavy rains. The NWS said the river is expected to drop to only 21 feet by the weekend.