The National Weather Service in Wilmington has issued a flood watch in effect through Friday morning for much of southern Ohio, including Scioto County, along with northern Kentucky and Indiana.
On Wednesday, the weather service had issued a flood warning for Scioto County which initially was expected to expire late that afternoon.
A watch indicates the possibility of flooding, while a warning means flooding has been observed and seems highly likely, especially in low-lying areas. Brian Coniglio, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service, said early Wednesday afternoon the weather service likely would keep an eye on the situation and possibly consider extending the watch if conditions warranted doing so.
The weather service was reporting by just before 1 p.m., Wednesday, up to two inches of rain had already fallen in the area with another half inch to inch possible.
“Runoff from this excessive rainfall will cause flooding to occur,” the weather service stated in its warning announcement.
As of early Wednesday afternoon, neither local law enforcement nor the Scioto County Emergency Management Agency (SCEMA) were reporting any major flooding.
SCEMA announced the flood watch through Friday just prior to 3 p.m. Wednesday.
According to information released by SCEMA, periods of rain will occur into Thursday evening. Some locally heavy rainfall is possible, particularly on Thursday. The cumulative effects of several rounds of rain will lead to an increased threat of flooding as time progresses. Rainfall amounts will generally range from 1.5 to three inches.
Initial threats into Wednesday night were predicted to be limited to flood prone areas and small creeks and streams. With more rainfall on Thursday, larger rivers may be a threat to flood. Flooding could continue even after the rain comes to an end Thursday night.
The weather service warns people in the watch area, especially those living in areas prone to flooding, should be prepared to take action should flooding develop. Residents are cautioned to monitor the latest forecasts and be alert for possible flood warnings.
Areas north of Scioto County may be in line for the worst flooding according to weather service predictions. Coniglio said the closest gauge on the Scioto River to Portsmouth is in Piketon. Flood stage for the Scioto is 20 feet. The Scioto River is expected to peak at 23 feet in Piketon by 1 p.m. Friday. Forecasts show it beginning to drop again starting about 7 a.m. Saturday.
Regarding the Ohio River at Portsmouth, the weather service is predicting no flooding whatsoever. Forecasts show the river reaching a high of only 46.1 feet on Sunday. Flood stage for the Ohio River at Portsmouth is 50 feet.