Cabin fever antidote

With flooding unlikely and temperatures expected to tiptoe back into the high 50s by Saturday, area residents are hoping to make the most of the predicted spurt of warm weather this weekend.

“Hopefully we’ll be able to go to the park with the kids,” said Ruby Reese, 35, of Marietta.

Reese, a mother of four, has taken her children sledding once this winter, but for the most part said they have felt cooped up.

Marietta resident Josh Whitstine, 23, has felt the same way.

“It’s been so cold, you didn’t want to walk outside,” he said.

However, with the break in the weather this week and continuing into the weekend, he hopes to get out more, he said.

A warm Thursday followed by a cool Thursday night has meteorologists predicting some drizzle for today, said Ray Young, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Charleston, W.Va.

However, residents might luck out with a relatively dry Saturday, he said.

“On Saturday, it’s iffy how much sunshine you’re going to get at this point,” said Young.

This winter has been particularly cold and unrelentingly snowy, said Young.

Charleston experienced its 10th coldest January on record since the 1890s. Parkersburg missed the top 10 list for coldest January by 0.3 degrees, he said, adding that Parkersburg’s weather was not recorded the final two days of January because of malfunctioning equipment.

The final two days would not have likely made a large impact on the 25.2 degree average for Parkersburg, he said.

Marietta resident Jessica Schutt, 21, said she is ready to put winter’s crazy fluctuations behind her.

“It’s so dramatic,” said Schutt of the weather. “And when it does warm up everyone seems to get sick.”

Schutt said she would love to enjoy the weekend by walking outside and seeing everyone else enjoy the weather, but she will be stuck inside working instead.

Members of the Marietta Boat Club are taking advantage of the small break by getting some work done at the clubhouse and docks Saturday, said Josh Schlicher, chairman of MBC’s board of trustees.

The club does preventative maintenance throughout the winter with the culmination being the reinstallation of the docks in late April, he said.

“We’ve just kind of been waiting around for the weather to break,” said Schlicher.

While some maintenance work can be done indoors, a warm day will give the club the chance to get some outside tasks completed, he said.

“A lot of our work can be done indoors, but most of our operations are outside,” he said.

Schlicher said a few eager boaters may even hit the rivers this weekend.

Because most of the snow has already melted, Young said the risk of flooding locally is very slight.

“Most of that risk is going to be in the Ohio counties just west of (Washington County),” said Young.

As of 5 p.m. Thursday, the National Weather Service predicted the Ohio River would crest early Sunday morning at 28.8 feet in Marietta, more than four feet below action stage and more than six feet below flood stage.

However, Young stopped short of ruling out flooding all together, citing potential thunderstorms.

Marietta Township resident Walter Schnabel, 77, who bundled up in a sweatshirt and gloves for a Thursday afternoon walk on Marietta’s River Trail, said the weather would not likely affect his plans this weekend.

“I’ll probably be walking this trail every day,” said Schnabel as he briskly moved on.

Marietta resident Robin Carter was enjoying the Marietta Community Dog Park Thursday evening with her dogs Maggie and Max.

Carter, who just moved to Marietta in November, said she is excited to experience the city during the warmer months.

“I’m really excited to experience the outdoor Marietta,” she said.

Residents better enjoy the spring preview while it lasts, warned Young.

“Sunday we have a front go through that will usher back in winter time. There is potential snowfall Monday night and a possibility of snow in the various days beyond that and back into the weekend,” he said.