Though earlier predictions put the crest at or above flood stage in Racine and Pomeroy, that was not the case, but just barely. Personnel with the Racine Locks and Dam said the Ohio River crested at 39.88 feet at 3 p.m. on Monday, just shy of flood stage which is 41 feet. The hanger gates will remain open until the water level drops below 33 feet to prevent damage to equipment. The gates are lifted when the upper and lower pool at the dam become the same level.
In Pomeroy, the river crested just above 44 feet Monday afternoon, two feet below flood stage which was a relief to several business owners along Main Street. The rising water became somewhat of a tourist attraction with spectators stopping to take pictures of the village parking lot which was closed to traffic, making parking downtown even more of a challenge.
One place the Ohio River did crest above flood stage was Point Pleasant, W.Va., where the water reached 43.6 feet Monday afternoon, more than three feet above flood stage. The rising water left much of the riverfront park and amphitheater underwater Sunday and Monday.
The Ohio River crested at 47.5 feet at the R.C. Byrd Locks and Dam at Gallipolis Ferry, W.Va., which was almost three feet below flood stage. Also, the Ohio River at the Belleville Locks and Dam at Reedsville reported a river crest at 32.8 feet, well below flood stage which is 45 feet.
With the exception of the reading at Racine and Pomeroy, all other river crest numbers were reported by The National Weather Service in Charleston, W.Va. The NWS blamed the recent flood event on a storm system dropping significant rain in southern Pennsylvania and western Maryland over the weekend as well as that area’s melting snow pack.