Cheat River crest adjusted down quelling flooding fears

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Data from the National Weather Service shows the northern part of West Virginia has received 2.05 inches of rail since Saturday evening. Most of that total fell on Sunday and about one-half inch of the total fell across the area Monday.

Rain, combined with anticipated snow melt from the mountains created difficult conditions to forecast levels of rivers and streams.

According to Duane Hamilton, Director fo the Preston County Office of Emergency Management, the flood waters on the Cheat River were lower then expected.

“We watched it throughout the night and the anticipated crest was supposed to be at 22.3,” Hamilton said,” It’s now been dropped back to 16-feet which right at the beginning of flood stage.”

As of Monday morning there were other areas in Preston County that reported flood conditions. Specifically, the Family Dollar store in Bruceton Mills reported flood waters inching up to the front door.

“It’s right up to the door of the Family Dollar,” Hamilton Said,” Also down around Clifton Mills there are some houses that are getting close to flooding.”

In Preston, Hamilton believes things turned out much better than what was expected.

“I think this time it did real good,” Hamilton said,” It’s cresting right at 16-feet and that’s right at flood stage- I think we dodged a bullet.”

Heavy rains in Mon County flooded some basement and spilled over roads that had clogged culvert pipes.

“Fire departments have been going out and helping these citizens by pumping water out of their basements,” Smith said.

Smith says the threat of flooding in Mon County is decreasing by the hour.

“The water is starting to go down,” Smith said,” We did see some roadways that got covered with water, most of that was due to the culverts being plugged up.”

Officials say never cross a flooded roadway or drive around road closed signs. It takes just 12 inches of rushing water to carry away most cars and just 2 feet of rushing water can carry away SUVs and trucks.

Forecasters say dry conditions will prevail for the remainder of the week.