Splash! Ivan soaks Tri-State

Published 12:00 am Friday, September 17, 2004

Their names - Charlie, Frances, Ivan - sound like a gang from a mobster movie and true to character the hurricanes continue to bully the Tri-State with heavy rains and brisk winds.

Even hundreds of miles from the tropical waters, remnants of the latest hurricane, Ivan, has begun to wreak havoc in Lawrence County and across Kentucky and West Virginia. Emergency response crews know that the worst may be yet to come as creeks continue to rise.

Lawrence County remains under flood watch until 8 p.m. Saturday and flood warning until 8 p.m. tonight, according to Fred McMullen, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service.

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"The heaviest part will be today in the morning hours. It will start to lighten up in the evening," he said, adding that the Tri-State has received 2.5 inches of rain and may get another 1 to 3 by Saturday morning. "Still, there is a pretty good chance we will see some sunshine Saturday afternoon."

On its own, the rain from Ivan may not be that bad, but coming on the heels of Frances and Charlie's rains, the additional rain is expected to cause problems because ground saturation allows flooding to occur sooner and from less rainfall.

McMullen had some advice for weekend travelers: "Turn around, don't drown and avoid high water."

The Ohio State Highway Patrol reported that numerous roads were under water or washed out. State Route 141 has been closed at Wilgus, State Route 93 at Pedro and State Route 775 between Wilgus and Scottown.

Water was over the road on parts of many roads including Solida Road, Lewis Fork, Crabtree Hollow, Little Solida and State Route 775.

"We have had lots of questions," said dispatcher Chad Adkins. "It just a a normal morning, nothing out of the ordinary (for bad weather)."

Area schools also felt the impact as well. Chesapeake schools were on a two-hour delay and other schools were dismissing early. Several football games were played Thursday and other were considering changes for Friday.

"Nothing is normal today," Chesy teacher Pam Rase said with laugh.

Chesapeake football will plat at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Lucasville Valley instead of Chesapeake.

Rock Hill canceled school and postponed the football game on the road against Portsmouth West until 7:30 p.m. Saturday.

Symmes Valley was considering dismissing at noon and have postponed the game with a date yet to be determined. Green Township canceled school and were still evaluating options for their football game against Eastern. South Point was scheduled to close early.

As of press time, Dawson-Bryant schools were keeping an eye on the radar and considering dismissing.

It was business as usual for Fairland and Ironton.

Even for higher education, the weather has upset schedules. Ohio University's new president Roderick J. McDavis was going to visit the southern campus today but that has been canceled.