Patrons packed into the front half of the Edgewater Cafe didn't seem too concerned that a foot, or so, of the Muskingum River had risen into the cafe's back bar area Sunday afternoon.
"The water has actually gone down since last Monday, so we've pulled everything off the shelves back there. And I've already hosed down and cleaned that area once in the past week," said cafe manager Teri McConaha.
She's worked at the cafe for 11 years, and used to panic every time the river started rising. But now McConaha basically takes it in stride.
SAM SHAWVER The Marietta Times
Rainbow Road, just off Muskingum River Road near Marietta, was closed Sunday due to high backwater from the Muskingum River.
Waters from the swollen Muskingum River covered some low-lying areas of Malta in Morgan County Sunday afternoon. The Muskingum crested at 10.79 feet, just below the 11-foot flood stage in the Malta-McConnelsville area Sunday, according to the National Weather Service.
PHOTO COURTESY OF TERI MCGREW
"A sign out front says 'we are family,'" she said. "Our customers and neighbors are ready to help if the river gets too high."
Saturday's heavy rainfall across Ohio _ 1.42 inch in Marietta-caused rivers still high from heavy rainfall and snow melt upstream on the Ohio River a few days earlier-to rise.
The Ohio River level at Marietta was 31.9 feet at 12:20 a.m. today, according to the gauge at the Marietta wastewater treatment plant. A meteorologist said Sunday the Ohio was expected to crest at Marietta at 33.8 feet at 7 p.m. Tuesday, according to the National Weather Service. Flood stage is 35 feet.
The swollen Muskingum had already caused a couple of road closings in Morgan County over the weekend. The Morgan County Sheriff's Office reported river waters crossed Ohio 60, temporarily closing the highway in McConnelsville early Sunday.
But the water had receded by Sunday afternoon and the road was reopened.
Tina Greuey, who works at the McConnelsville McDonald's on Ohio 60, said Ohio 669, north of Malta on the west side of the Muskingum, remained closed due to high water Sunday night.
"One of our employees who lives on that road couldn't make it in today," she said. "And at least one car got stuck trying to drive through the water there."
Back in Washington County, water-covered roadways were reported Sunday on Main Street in Macksburg and North Fork Road in Grandview Township.
But Marietta Area Chamber of Commerce President Charlotte Keim said folks who live or have businesses near the river should still keep watch. The chamber issued a warning about the potential for flooding to members on Friday.
"Hopefully any flooding will be very minor, but we're telling people to keep watching the river levels," she said. "Water often gets into the basements of businesses on Front Street, so before flooding occurs business owners should consider what should be moved and how much time it will take to move materials up out of the way."
Lt. Jack Hansis with the Marietta Fire Department said people who live near rising streams and rivers should monitor water levels closely over the next few days.
"Plan ahead. Move boxes up off of basement floors, and if you have a sump pump make sure there is no debris or sediment clogging the pump to prevent water backup," he said.
"People should also make sure the pump hose runs far enough away from their house so the water does not flow back into the residence," he said.
Hansis noted the city fire department does not respond to flooded basements.
Forecaster Ken Batty with the National Weather Service in Charleston, W.Va., said there would be a strong rise of the Ohio River through Tuesday.
"The river is expected to continue to rise Monday and Monday night, then level off below flood stage on Tuesday," he said. "But the Marietta and Parkersburg area is not out of the woods yet. People need to keep monitoring the streams and rivers. The Ohio River may continue to rise for two or three days after rains have stopped in this area. It could be a sunny day and the river will still be rising."
Batty said during times of high water the National Weather Service is continually updating river level information.
"Our forecast can change four times a day during high water events," he said.
According to the National Weather Service, today should be sunny, with a high near 45, and tonight will be partly cloudy with a low around 27.
Tuesday will be partly sunny with a high near 54 and a night time low of 39.
Rain returns Wednesday with a high near 56.