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Heavy Rains Cause Flooding, Cancellations

By Staff | Sep 12, 2018

Photo by Chad Turner Bloated streams and clogged ditches make for a messy commute on Next Road in Tyler County.

Wetzel and Tyler County schools dismissed early Monday, Sept. 10 as area residents dealt with five to six inches of rain in a matter of 48 hours. Despite water clearing the roadways and floodwaters receding back into creeks and streams by evening, area residents then had to turn attentions to the Ohio River, which was expected to crest right below flood stage at Hannibal Lock and Dam by Tuesday afternoon.

There were several other cancellations as a result of the threat of river flooding. New Martinsville City Council postponed its regular council meeting. Instead, council members planned to aid residents and area businesses with flood preparation.

For the first time in more than a decade, the West Virginia Oil & Gas Festival had to cancel all of its Sistersville Park-related events. Festival organizer Barbara Vincent said the event hadn’t been affected by flooding since 2004.

The Wetzel County Chamber of Commerce’s Entrepreneur Pitch was postponed until Sept. 24, due to the threat of river flooding, while Wetzel County Grand Jury was postponed until Sept. 19, due to the same.

Wetzel and Tyler County Schools held classes on a regular schedule to begin Monday; however, Tyler County Schools then announced a dismissal for the elementary schools at 10 a.m., while Tyler Consolidated dismissed at 10:30 a.m. due to ongoing rainfall and subsequent rising waters.

Wetzel County Schools dismissed two hours early.

By 3 p.m. Monday, 562 First Energy customers were still without electricity in Tyler County, while 31 were still without electricity in Wetzel County.

Tyler County Office of Emergency Management Director Tom Cooper said there were no major calls as a result of Monday’s flooding. He said the intake on the Sistersville water plant is not working, so town officials are currently providing water customers with water from the tanks. He asked that Sistersville residents conserve water.

Wetzel OEM Director Steven Yoho noted no major issues in Wetzel County. He said there had been no slips or individuals stranded. He said there were a few areas with minor flooding in the roadways from “backed up” culverts.

As to preparations for river flooding, Yoho stated the OEM is in the process of receiving clean-up supplies from the state. He said there are already supplies at the OEM office, and it should take around 72 hours to get what is ordered from the state.