SCEMA cancels flood warning

By Tom Corrigan - [email protected]

With the river having fallen just a tad below flood stage, the National Weather Service in Wilmington called off a flood warning for the Scioto River at Piketon early Friday morning.

The weather service reported the Scioto was sitting at 19.9 feet near Piketon at 5 a.m., Friday. Flood stage for the Scioto at Piketon is 20 feet. The weather service predicted the river will continue to fall, reaching 15.7 feet by Saturday morning.

In the meantime, NWS was reporting the continuation of a flood warning for the Ohio River at Portsmouth as of Friday morning. The NWS stated the warning would stay in effect until Saturday morning.

At 7 a.m. Friday, the river at Portsmouth was sitting at 51 feet, according to an NWS press release. According to the NWS website, the Ohio River at Portsmouth peaked recently at just a tad over 51 feet at noon on Friday. The NWS warned at stages near 51 feet, low-lying flooding is likely to occur along the southern border of Scioto County as well as in South Portsmouth.

Flood stage for the Ohio at Portsmouth is 50 feet. NWS stated minor flooding was occurring and more minor flooding was forecast. However, officials also said the Ohio would continue to fall below flood stage by after midnight Friday. By the middle of next week, river levels at Portsmouth were forecast to tumble all the way to just under 34 feet.

Around noon on Friday, Director of the Scioto County Emergency Management Agency, Kim Carver, told the Daily Times she expected the flood warning for the Ohio at Portsmouth would be called off shortly.

In other comments to the Times, Carver said the area dodged a bullet as recent downpours did not raise levels of the Scioto and Ohio rivers as high as initially expected. While the Ohio River at Portsmouth reached only just over 51 feet during this year’s heavy rains, the river reached a peak of 53.3 feet in mid-February of last year. As most probably remember, one result was the city ordered the erection of flood gates around the town for the first time in 20 years.

Regarding the Scioto River, Piketon is the closest point to Portsmouth where NWS maintains a water level gauge. During this year’s storms, the river at Piketon peaked at just over 24 feet around 2 p.m., Wednesday. As already noted, the flood stage for the Scioto at Piketon is 20 feet.

By Tom Corrigan

[email protected]