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Point Park closed due to high water

PARKERSBURG — Point Park in Parkersburg was closed on Tuesday because of high water, city officials said.

Much of the area outside the floodwall near where the gazebo is located was covered with water as was the amphitheater, according to Everett Shears, public works director for the municipality.

The closure was effective at 1:30 p.m., Shears said.

Point Park is located at the confluence of the Ohio and Little Kanawha rivers.

According to the National Weather Service, the river level at Point Park as of 2 p.m. Tuesday was at 28.22 feet, a little less than 8 feet below flood stage.

The river is expected to crest a little after 2 p.m. Friday at 30.5 feet, the Weather Service said. Flood stage at that location is 36 feet.

“That’s also subject to change,” Shears said.

The last time the river crested above flood stage at the point was Feb. 18, 2018, at 39.71 feet.

The forecast from the National Weather Service includes rain for most of the remainder of the week.

It will rain mostly after 4 p.m. today with as much as an inch of rain possible overnight. The forecast for Thursday night is rain before 10 p.m., then snow maybe until midnight, the Weather Service said.

The next step will be to clean the mud and debris from the area when it is safe to do so, he said. The cleaning is not unusual.

How long the park will remain closed is uncertain, Shears said.

“It could be a week. It could be two,” Shears said.

No other issues with high water were reported, including in Vienna, Mayor Randy Rapp said.

“So far, none,” but the water is rising, Bill Riffle of the Wood County 911 center, said.

While the National Weather Service issued a flash flood watch for the Northern Panhandle, most of the problems with high water and flooding are in Southern West Virginia.

Ahead of the forecast for rainfall, Gov. Jim Justice asked the state Emergency Operations Center to prepare a response to additional flooding

The governor’s office has asked the state Emergency Operations Center to prepare a response to additional flooding, the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management reported on Tuesday.

“Because of the heavy rain predicted again this week, I’ve asked state agencies to be ready to respond,” Justice said. “We stand united with our communities and are prepared to provide all possible resources if flooding should occur.”

Agencies are being placed on standby and will report to the Operations Center if needed, homeland security said. The Weather Service will hold a daily briefing and homeland security liaison officers will provide daily updates from each county.

Jess Mancini can be reached at jmancini@newsandsentinel.com

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