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WV Northern Panhandle: All eyes on the Ohio River as rain continues to fall, water continues to rise

Staff Report

The Intelligencer of Wheeling

WHEELING, W.Va. — Light rains Saturday seemed to be just the start of expected heavy rains overnight into today, which is keeping emergency agencies on alert for flooding.

Ohio County Emergency Management Director Lou Vargo said officials would be watching the weather reports from Pittsburgh, but through most of the day Saturday, they were downsizing the workforce. Officials are still watching the Ohio River, though, as it is expected to crest above flood stage on Monday at most locations in the Upper Ohio Valley.

“We’re downsizing — I just talked to the National Weather Service,” Vargo said. “We’re just going to follow the radar and weather reports from Pittsburgh, if the rain does occur. As of right now, the river’s going to be coming up to flood stage, and we’ll be ready to help residents clean up when the flood recedes.

Vargo added that the anticipated heavy rain Saturday night may lead to a chance of landslides, which they would also be monitoring.

By Saturday afternoon, the predicted river level for Sunday had decreased, expected to crest at an estimated 38.9 feet at Moundsville. Marshall County Emergency Management Director Tom Hart said although the lowered level was some relief, the threat of heavy rain overnight was keeping their office on alert.

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