Flooding possible, depending on thaw

Published 2:16 am Wednesday, February 24, 2021

The Ironton city workers are monitoring the Ohio River in case all the recent snow and ice melting causes it to flood.

“It’s possible, but it’s hard to say,” said Mike Pemberton, the Ironton Flood Defense superintendent, on Sunday. “It all depends on what kind of rainfall we get in the next couple days.”

The flood stage for Ironton is around 50 feet. According to the National Weather Service’s Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service, the Ohio River in Ironton was predicted to be around 35 feet today.

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Pemberton said so far, they have been seeing a slow thaw.

“That’s what we want to see,” he said. “Now, rain and a quick thaw, we will have to have pump stations in operation. So, it just depends on the temperature and rainfall we are going to have in the next couple of days. If we get heavy rains it could happen.”

Pemberton said about 24 hours after a rain is when they see the Ohio River rise.

“It comes down from West Virginia and all the rivers off the Ohio River and heads toward us,” he said. “It all depends how fast the rain comes through. If it is a real heavy rain, we can see it in 12 hours.”

There is a 20 percent chance of rain today and increasing chances of rain starting Saturday.