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Ohio River swells to 41.85 feet, highest since 2005, before beginning slow retreat

The Intelligencer

WHEELING, W.Va. – Most residents of Wheeling Island were as prepared as they could be for the Ohio River’s crest near the major flood level Thursday, and many of them have been through the drill a number of times in the past.

By early afternoon on Thursday, the National Weather Service measured the Wheeling gauge of the U.S. Geological Survey at over 40 feet. The river crested at 41.85 at around 8 p.m. — just below major flood stage of 42 feet — according to a social media post by Mayor Glenn Elliott, relaying information from the Wheeling-Ohio County Emergency Management Agency.

Flooding is a fact of life for those who live on a river island. Despite the threat of impending flood damage, several Wheeling Islanders met Mother Nature’s wrath calmly and with reasonably positive attitudes in light of the inevitable circumstances.

Anne and Tom Samol of North Front Street on Wheeling Island know – to the inch – at what flood levels their basement will get water versus when it will be thoroughly flooded.

“We have it marked inside the house – the ’96 flood, 2004 and 2005,” Anne Samol said. “It starts in our basement at 39.5 (feet). Once it gets over a certain area, it goes right down into the basement.”

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