By Frank Lewis
According to one weather service, though at times the amount was slight, it has rained in the Scioto County area for the last 30 days and, on Friday morning, the U.S. Weather Service issued a flash flood watch through Saturday morning because of heavy rain in the forecast.
Showers and thunderstorms were expected to move through the area Friday afternoon and evening with the potential to repeat over the same areas with torrential rainfall rates. The USWS reports – with saturated soils in a continuing active weather pattern the potential for flash flooding exists through the weekend.
New Boston Village Administrator Steve Hamilton says the Ohio River crested at 29.93 feet around 9 a.m. Friday morning, causing him not to be concerned that high water could be a problem despite the heavy rainfall. He said the river level was far from where he requires the village pump stations to be turned on.
“We don’t even put anybody in there until 38.2 feet. They start pumping at 42 feet,” Hamilton said. “At 38 feet we shut the gate behind Heritage Square to keep stormwater from Portsmouth from coming our way, so it will go to their pump station.”
Portsmouth Wastewater Director Rick Duncan said in Portsmouth the first flood gates are erected at 56.5 feet.
“We put our flood pumps online at 36 feet,” Duncan said. “In June, the highest the (Ohio) river got to was 34 feet.”
Kim Carver, director of the Scioto County Emergency Management Agency, said this area has escaped serious flooding so far.
“Even though we’ve had a significant amount of rain over the long haul, the rain has been spaced out so the watershed could drain in between each one of the rain events so that we didn’t really have any high water issues,” Carver said. “We’ve been lucky I feel. Northern Ohio had some flooding but we kind of dodged the bullet.”
According to the numbers from the Greenup Locks and Dam, the river at Lloyd, Kentucky crested Friday morning at 31.3 feet and is expected to fall to 22 feet by 10 a.m. Tuesday.
Reach Frank Lewis at 740-353-3101, ext. 1928, or on Twitter @franklewis.