AP NEWS

A dozen floodwall pump stations activated as area preps for another round of rain

February 23, 2019

HUNTINGTON - The Huntington Water Quality Board is closely monitoring river levels today and will continue to do so this weekend.

At 5 p.m. Friday, the National Weather Service reported that the Ohio River at Huntington was at a level of 44.39 feet. It is expected to crest at 47.5 feet on Tuesday.

“Floodwall gate closures are not initiated until the river reaches a level of 52.6 feet, so at this time, it is not anticipated that closures will be needed. However, Water Quality Board crews will be prepared to respond immediately if the forecast changes,” said Brian Bracey,Executive Director of the Huntington Water Quality Board in a release.

On Friday., the Huntington Stormwater Utility activated and began operating 12 of the floodwall pump stations . By Monday it is anticipated that 15 pump stations will be in operations. The Huntington Park and Recreation District has closed Harris Riverfront Park in downtown Huntington due to the rising Ohio River.

The Huntington Sanitary Board crews are also cleaning catch basins and will continue to do so throughout the weekend as the Tri-State, which has already been saturated with rain is expecting another round of rain Saturday.

The National Weather Service Charleston calls for a forecast of periods of rain today with the best chance along and south of I-64. A cold front blows through early Sunday, with strong, gusty winds behind it.

Overall rainfall amounts for today and tonight range from 1.0-1.5″ across the Southern Coal Fields to 0.75-1.0″ north ofRoute 50. With the rainfall being divided up between multiple impulses, creeks and streams will have some recovery time in thelulls. This is still enough rainfall across the south, falling on already soggy ground, to keep the flood watch going for possible high water issues in typical poor drainage areas. - The West Virginia Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (WVDHSEM), the West Virginia National Guard (WVNG), and other West Virginia State Agencies continue to monitor the remaining effects of winter weather and flooding issues across the Mountain State from this week’s storm system.The latest update from the National Weather Service in Charleston shows flooding concerns continuing from recent rains in the Ohio, New River and Greenbrier Valleys with scattered showers returning today, mainly across the southern counties. A large weather system will impact West Virginia over the coming weekend with a wintry mix and ice possible in the mountains and eastern panhandle on Saturday morning.Along and south of I-64, heavy rain and flooding may cause a strong rise along streams and rivers through mid-day on Sunday. There are concerns for flooding of roads and buildings along rivers and from backwater of creeks and rivers near the Ohio River from the smaller systems moving through this weekend, with a flood threat from the Ohio River into the Eastern Panhandle for the next workweek.Beginning Saturday night through Sunday, the Western Lowlands should be prepared for damaging winds and thunderstorms. Gusty winds are predicted area-wide Saturday night through Sunday with power outages possible as trees and utility lines may fall, especially with rain-soaked grounds. For the most up-to-date information on Watches, Warnings and Advisories for West Virginia, visit https://alerts.weather.gov/cap/wv.php?x=1.WVDHSEM, WVNG, and local emergency management agencies are monitoring the developing hazards and will remain vigilant during the event. The WVNG has identified liaison officers to assist affected counties, if needed. The West Virginia Division of Highways (WVDOH) continues to spot treat in areas that experienced snow and ice conditions, however, with temperatures above freezing throughout most of the state, attention has turned to monitoring flooding and the stability of roadways. Crews will continue to stand ready to assist first responders when needed. Drivers can stay up to date on the latest driving conditions and travel alerts by visiting www.wv511.org.Citizens should continue to monitor their local weather situation via television, radio, and news outlets, the National Weather Service, and by following WVDHSEM on social media. WVDHSEM will be posting important safety messages this week as conditions develop to the WVDHSEM Facebook and Twitter pages at: https://www.facebook.com/WVDHSEM/ and https://twitter.com/WVDHSEM.For more information on how to prepare for winter weather, storms, and flooding:* Shelters and disaster information by county: www.redcross.org/local/west-virginia/get-help.html* FEMA Winter: https://www.ready.gov/winter-weather* FEMA Flooding: https://www.ready.gov/floods* Red Cross Winter: https://www.redcross.org/get-help/how-to-prepare-for-emergencies/types-of-emergencies/winter-storm.html* Red Cross Flooding: https://www.redcross.org/get-help/how-to-prepare-for-emergencies/types-of-emergencies/flood.html* Weather.gov Ice Storms: https://www.weather.gov/safety/winter-ice-frost* Road Conditions and Travel Information: www.wv511.org