Remnants likely to miss Tri-State

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, September 28, 2004

If it was baseball, a near-miss would go in the books as a strike, but in terms of weather the Tri-State may have earned a free base.

With many people still drying out from the record September rains, it should come as welcome news that the remnants of Hurricane Jeanne are expected to blow by the region.

"The Ohio Valley will be on the western fringe of the storm tonight and tomorrow morning," said Ken Batty, meteorologist from the National Weather Service. "We have no flood warnings or watches out at this time, The heaviest rains will stay well to your east."

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The Carolinas and Virginia will not be so lucky, Batty said. Still, even with a few days to go, the Tri-State has probably set a record during this wet September.

As of Sunday, 8.91 inches or rain had fallen in the region according to measurements taken at Tri-State Airport in Kenova. W.Va.

"It does look like the Tri-State is heading for a record rainfall September even if we don't get anymore," Batty said.

Earlier this month Lawrence County and much of Ohio was hit with flooding creeks, closed roads and damaged property from weather brought by Hurricanes Ivan and Frances.

Last week, President George W. Bush declared federal disasters for Belmont, Carroll, Columbiana, Guernsey, Harrison, Jefferson, Monroe, Morgan, Muskingum, Noble, Perry, Stark, Trumbull, Tuscarawas and Washington counties.

Gov. Bob Taft asked on Friday for federal assistance for Athens, Meigs, Mahoning, Vinton and Gallia counties.

Lawrence County did not have enough damage to be eligible for federal assistance, said Don Mootz, 911/Emergency Management Agency director.

"First of all to get a FEMA declaration you must have 25 homes that suffer 40 percent structural damage. We didn't meet that," Mootz said. "We had some with structural damage but we didn't even come close."

Mootz said he knew of approximately eight houses with major damage. The flood mitigation program that began in 1997 eliminated many of the problem areas, he said.