Rainy weather continues

PARKERSBURG – The Mid-Ohio Valley has experienced a lot of rain over the past several weeks, but weather officials said residents can look for the sun by Friday.

A flash flood watch is in effect for portions of Ohio and West Virginia until about 2 a.m. Thursday, officials said Tuesday.

The flash flood watch covers Athens, Morgan, Perry, Vinton and Washington counties in Ohio and Doddridge, Harrison, Pleasants, Ritchie, Taylor, Tyler and Wood counties in West Virginia.

A watch means conditions may develop that lead to flash flooding. Flash flooding is a dangerous situation, officials said.

A dispatcher in Doddridge and Ritchie counties said the area experienced downed trees but did not have reports of high water from Tuesday’s storms.

Bo Wriston, director of emergency services in Wirt County, said the county didn’t experience the wrath of the storm that rolled through the valley Tuesday night. A dispatcher with the Wood County 911 Center said nothing out of the ordinary occurred in the county during the storm.

The Washington County Sheriff’s Office said it received several reports of high water on roads and downed trees. A dispatcher with the sheriff’s office said the trees had been removed but some roads were still affected by the high water Tuesday night.

Residents should use caution in the area of Stanleyville Narrows and Nichols Roads in Whipple, about two miles east of Interstate 77 near mile marker six, the Washington County Sheriff’s Office said.

The Marietta post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol said parts of Township Road 313 were experiencing high water Tuesday night.

Vienna and Williamstown volunteer fire departments searched the Ohio River for several hours Tuesday night after the U.S. Coast Guard received a report of an empty canoe floating near the Muskingum and Ohio rivers.

Vienna fire Chief Steve Scholl said the canoe was recovered but it was not confirmed if anyone had been in it.

“(Vienna) and Williamstown (fire departments) decided we didn’t want to risk any of our guys to search more,” Scholl said late Tuesday night. “The river and weather were in no condition to have our guys out there.”

Scholl said firefighters and emergency personnel would return to the river this morning for further investigation. He said the Ohio River was high but not reaching flood stages as of Tuesday night.

Meteorologist Joe Merchant with the National Weather Service in Charleston said the Mid-Ohio Valley will see patches of storms, including heavy rainfall, until early Thursday.

Merchant said weather officials are concerned with the next few days when a weak jet stream to the north producing lines of showers will precede a stronger front coming through the area today into Thursday.

“It’s still going to be warm but (the area) will see a break in rainfall Friday,” Merchant said Tuesday. “There are active patterns of showers and thunderstorms just off to the west in Ohio.”

Temperatures for the next few days will continue to be in the low to mid 80s, he said.

“The rain will clear out for the weekend,” Merchant said. “Friday looks beautiful.”

Exact amounts of rainfall for the area were not immediately available Tuesday, but Merchant said areas of Southeast Ohio received an estimated three to four inches of rain over the last seven days.

“Some areas received more than others,” he said. “They could have gotten a lot more in the next town over.”

The amount of rain the area has received this year is greater than the rainfall by this time last year, Merchant said.

If residents come across high water, they should follow the weather center’s motto and “turn around, don’t drown,” he said.

Athens County Sheriff Pat Kelly said on Facebook around 5:30 p.m. Tuesday Sunday Creek in Trimble Township area was flooding and closed the following roads: Ohio 13 north of the village of Glouster, Ohio 13 at the intersection of Ohio 329 in the village of Trimble, Ohio 13 at the intersection of Ohio 329 and sections of Ohio 329 between the villages of Trimble and Amesville.

Residents shouldn’t attempt to drive through the water, Kelly said Tuesday.