Belmont, Monroe and Harrison counties put on a flood watch

T-L Photo/JENNIFER COMPSTON-STROUGH Belmont, Monroe, and Harrison County are under a flood watch until Friday due to anticipated heavy rainfall. Here, McMahon Creek in Warnock runs high and fast on Wednesday, but the Belmont County Emergency Management Agency said it had received no reports of flooding by that afternoon.

ST. CLAIRSVILLE — Flooding could potentially occur in the Ohio Valley again as many counties have been placed under a flood watch that was set to remain in effect until Friday.

Local counties in Ohio that were subject to a flood watch late Wednesday included Belmont, Monroe and Harrison.

Belmont County Emergency Management Agency Director Dave Ivan said his office had not received any reports of flooding or high water late Wednesday, but McMahon Creek in Warnock, located south of St. Clairsville, was rising and looked as though it could potentially spill over its banks.

“By no means should anyone drive through water if flooding were to happen,” Ivan warned. “Just turn around or find a different way. It is not safe at all.”

The village of Yorkville, which lies in both Belmont and Jefferson counties, has a history of flooding and the damage that comes with it. Yorkville Mayor Karen Vargo said that she and other village officials do have a lot of concerns when it comes to heavy rain.

“Our major concern would be any flooding that may occur on Deep Run, which has yet to be repaired due to last year’s February flooding,” Vargo said. “We are awaiting the (Ohio) Department of National Resources Conservation Service to receive federal funding to redirect the stream bed to its original location.

“Other areas of concern would be the creek flowing from the west area of Public Road, as well as an area above the substation in the north area of town,” she continued. “All of our concerns arise from creeks that flow from outside corporation limits and then into town. The problems then become ours to deal with.”

Monroe County Emergency Management Agency Director Phil Keevert said drivers should be careful when traveling on Ohio 7. He noted that about 3 miles south of Sardis a mudslide is blocking one lane of traffic.

Harrison County was not reporting any flooding Wednesday.

According to the National Weather Service, up to a quarter inch of rain was expected Wednesday, and there is a chance of rain today, mainly after 2 p.m with a possible thunderstorm in the evening. On Friday, there is a chance of rain and snow showers between 9 a.m. and noon.

Saturday is expected to be clear, but Sunday there is another chance of rain before 7 p.m.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers these tips for those who may be in a flooded area:

∫ During a flood watch, gather supplies such as water, food and a first aid kit to be prepared and keep watch for any updates.

∫ Have immunization records handy (or know the year of the last tetanus shot).

∫ Bring in outdoor possessions (lawn furniture, grills, trash cans) or tie them down securely.

∫ Watch for water advisories from local authorities to find out if water is safe for drinking and bathing.

∫ Leave areas that are subject to flooding: low spots, canyons, washes, etc.

∫ Avoid driving through flooded areas and standing water. As little as 6 inches of water can cause loss of control of your vehicle.