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Ohio to crest near flood stage early Saturday

After days of rain, skies cleared on Friday but the Ohio River was expected to continue rising through Saturday morning.

The National Weather Service predicted the river would peak between 1 and 7 a.m. at 34.8 feet at the Marietta pumphouse, making it likely that southside locations such as Hart, Wayne and Charles streets might be under some water early in the morning until the river recedes.

Although the Muskingum River came up following the rains late in the week, Beverly Mayor Jim Ullman said the village didn’t suffer any flooding.

“The Muskingum didn’t close any roads, we got out of it relatively good, without any problems,” he said Friday afternoon. “It’s actually gone down a bit now, but we were holding our breath there for a while.”

The area received just under three inches of rain from Tuesday through Thursday, according to National Weather Service records.

On Friday, Washington County roads remained closed by high water in numerous locations.

Lt. Eric Hunter of the Washington County Sheriff’s Office said roads were being watched closely.

“It’s a little bit of this, a little bit of that, here and there,” he said Friday afternoon. “Duck Creek is out of its banks, the Muskingum and the Little Muskingum are out of their banks and we’ve got road closures from high water in about two dozen places.”

Although the Ohio River was still coming up, the smaller streams were beginning to recede, he said.

“But if we get more rain, the outlook will not be good,” he said.

Hunter said he knew of two instances in which motorists got stranded by trying to drive through high water and the occupants had to be pulled out by local fire departments.

“When it comes down to it, remember the saying: Turn around, don’t drown,” he said. “Be leery when you’re driving, especially after the sun goes down and it’s harder to see the water. I urge drivers to take caution, don’t try to drive through the water. Sometimes there are sinkholes under the water you can’t see. Take the extra time to detour around areas that are flooded.”

Ohio River forecast for the weekend

•River crest: 34.8 feet, 1 a.m. to 7 a.m. Saturday.

•Flooded areas of the city at that level:

•Hart and Charles streets at Eighth Street.

•Charles, Wayne and Hart streets at Sixth Street.

•Fifth Street at the center of Don Drumm Field.

•Mile Run underpass on west side.

•Gilman Avenue at New Street and the lower ramp to the Washington Street Bridge.

•Weather forecast: Cold and dry through Sunday afternoon, when precipitation is expected to return with possible snow, sleet or freezing rain, with heavy rain possible starting Monday night

Sources: National Weather Service, City of Marietta.

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