Wet Weather Causes Woes Around the Ohio Valley

Photo by Scott McCloskey Crews from West Liberty, Short Creek and Windsor Heights Fire Departments closed a section of Short Creek Road in Ohio County Thursday between North Fork Road and Girtys Point Road following a hillside slip that also brought utility lines down across the roadway and the adjacent stream.

Following a hill slip that brought utility lines down across the Short Creek Road and the adjacent stream Thursday, area motorists are advised to travel secondary roads with caution due to the highly saturated ground, according local emergency officials.

Meanwhile, much of the Upper Ohio Valley remained under a flood watch through this morning.

While no injuries were reported in the Short Creek slip, Wheeling-Ohio County Emergency Management Director Lou Vargo, advises motorists to slow down and travel the secondary roads throughout the county with caution. He said the warmer temperatures combined with the recent heavy rains that have swept through the Ohio Valley has caused the potential for mudslides and hill slips in the area.

Vargo said there have been no reports of flooding in Ohio County over the past few days, there have been several slips reported in different areas of the county, including: River Road, Wheeling Hill and Short Creek Road.

“Any of these runs where there’s road right next to the hillside there is that potential,” Vargo said.

He said any time they have a slip like the one that occurred on Short Creek Road, emergency personnel will immediately shut the road down until the slip is repaired.

“If you’re traveling, just be cognizant that a hill can slip at any time and just be careful,” Vargo said, adding he advises anyone who sees a slip in their travels should contact the county’s 911 system and they will dispatch emergency personnel and highway crews to the scene.

Vargo also urged drivers to turn around and find an alternate route when they encounter flooded roadways. He said when people try to drive through high water there is the potential for danger.

West Virginia Department of Highways crews were on the scene at the Short Creek slip Thursday afternoon waiting for utility companies to remove fiber optic and telephone lines, before they could remove debris from the roadway.

The Ohio County Sheriff’s Office also shut down Peters Run Road late Thursday due to a tanker truck rollover. The driver’s condition was unknown at press time.

The National Weather Service predicts the Ohio River to crest at 29.7 feet around 5 p.m. Saturday, just passing 25 feet around 5 p.m. Thursday. Flood stage for the surrounding area is 36 feet. Around Moundsville, the NWS recorded the river to hit 30.2 feet at its highest point Thursday, with the flood stage at 37 feet.

In Elm Grove, Wheeling Creek was reported to have just hit five feet Thursday evening, with a flood stage of seven feet. All recorded areas were reported as “near flood stage” but no flooding was officially reported.

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