River expected to crest just below flood stage

ON THE RISE — The Ohio River will crest around 6 a.m. on Tuesday just under moderate flooding levels from New Cumberland through Pike Island. About 3.75 inches of rain fell on the area, with more in certain areas. Shown is the river in Wellsburg, one location wary of river flooding because it is one of the lowest points on the river in the area. Boat owners were seen removing boats from the river on Sunday, including the Brooke County Sheriff’s Department rescue boat. -- Mark Law

STEUBENVILLE — Creeks and streams mainly stayed within their banks on Sunday, and there is a prediction for moderate flooding on the Ohio River from New Cumberland to Pike Island on Tuesday morning.

The National Weather Service’s Moon Township office predicted the river will crest around 6 a.m. Tuesday at 38.8 feet at New Cumberland, just under the moderate flood stage. Steubenville will have a crest of 37.8 feet, and Wellsburg will see a crest around 38.7 feet. The river at Pike Island will rise to 42.7 feet, just under the major flood stage.

Jefferson County Sheriff Fred Abdalla said the crest in the northern part of the county shouldn’t pose any major problems. He said the river has to get to 41 to 42 feet before it goes over state Route 7.

Abdalla said Brilliant, Old State Route 7 in Tiltonsville and Warrenton may be impacted by river flooding.

Across the river, Bob Fowler, Brooke County Emergency Management Agency director, said there will be minor flooding in the south end of Wellsburg, with mainly basement flooding predicted.

Schools in Brooke and Hancock counties were closed Monday as a result of roads in those counties being impacted by flood waters, and the Brooke County Fair events were canceled on Sunday.

Several roads were closed in Brooke County on Sunday, mainly along Buffalo Creek, including state Route 67 in sections and Pierce Run, Hukill Run and Castelman Run roads. However, Fowler reported state Route 67 reopened today.

County Road 1 in Jefferson County and Warren Township Road 113 at county Road 1 were closed due to high water on Sunday, and Little Rush Run Road was closed at the underpass, according to the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department.

About 60 tons of sand were delivered to the Stratton area over the weekend, but Abdalla said he doubts if that sand will have to be used to fill sandbags. The sheriff said he planned on using prisoners at the county jail to fill the sandbags. The sand will be made available to any other communities having flooding issues.

Officials with Mon Power reported about 100 customers were without power early today in Brooke and Hancock counties, due, in part, to falling trees, and AEP Ohio officials reported scattered outages in Jefferson County, with the largest being more than 300 customers without power in the Glen Robbins area.

Hurricane Florence is the next issue on the horizon for Ohio Valley, but Shannon Hefferan, a National Weather Service meteorologist, said current models are showing the hurricane possibly impacting areas east of this region.

“It will start drying out of for the rest of the week. We will be watching Florence,” she said.

Fowler said he wasn’t taking any chance with Florence’s potential path. He said he will start meeting with Brooke County officials on Thursday to begin planning.

Hefferan noted the one day total rainfall in the Pittsburgh area on Sunday was second only to the rain from the remnants of Hurricane Ivan in 2004.

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