Monday, February 19, 2018

Ohio River flood, 2/19/18 (Part 2)

When I arrived in Ironton, Ohio, in late morning, city work crews had already installed the floodwall barriers on the south side of the Storms Creek opening and had begun the process on the north side. The work attracted a stream of spectators that came and went for the hour or so I was there.

The gate on the south side let some water seep through. It ran off into storm drains on each side of the street. I saw what looked like a pump station nearby.

At the far lower end of town was another floodwall opening that workers had not started on yet. Past that, out of town, was another low place under water.

Up next: The Greenup Locks and Dam and Greenup, Ky. That comes tomorrow morning.

Update: Life has gotten in the way. I will try to have the Greenup pictures up by Tuesday evening.

Ohio River flood, 2/19/18 (1 of 3)

Today's pictorial coverage of the flood of 2018 takes us down the Ohio River to the Greenup Locks and Dam and back. I got too many pictures to put in one entry, so it's being broken into three parts. Part 2 comes later this evening, and Part 3 either around midnight or tomorrow morning.

The first stop on the grand tour was South Point, Ohio. The village gets its name from the fact it is the southernmost incorporated community in Ohio. South Point has no floodwall, so people who live there get a good view of the river in both low water and high water. In the brief time I was there today, the street along the river was busy with people getting a closeup look at the river, boats and barges.

You could see the Marathon Petroleum towboats Robinson and Paul G. Blazer from the village park.

Or a view of this boat (Superior Marine,  I think) behind some barges.

And deckhands talking about something.

And a spot where barges are tied to the bank

Across the river at a Marathon terminal was the Paul G. Blazer.

And tied up at Kenova's Virginia Point Park was the M/V Energy.

Now before I headed down the river,  I needed to make sure the floodwall gates in downtown Huntington were up. They were, and the city did its best to let people know they should stay away from them short of posting an armed guard 24/7.

Still, I saw at least one person climbing up on them to get a look and a picture

Next: Putting up the gates in Ironton, Ohio.

# # #

Before that, though, a word about what happened upriver. From my Facebook contacts, it appears some communities were hit hard by the flood. Parts of Sistersville, W.Va., may have been under water, and images of water in downtown Pomeroy, Ohio, are common.

Some have asked why Pomeroy does not have a floodwall. There are probably several reasons, but one of the simplest could be that a floodwall to save Pomeroy from the river would probably result in the end of Pomeroy.

The village of Pomeroy sits in a bend of the river. You have the river, a high bank, some former railroad tracks, the main drag through town and commercial buildings facing the river. There's not much room between the top of the bank and the hill. Building a floodwall would require removing about half or more of the buildings in the commercial district.

Pomeroy has a great view of the river in good times, but that also brings about a too-close view in times like this.

By the way, Pomeroy has two well-known claims to fame and a third one that's not as well known. The village has no four-way intersections, and it has the only courthouse in the world (they say) with ground-level entrances on all three floors.

The other claim, according to a historical marker there along the river, is that Pomeroy is where the coal barge was invented.

Coming this evening: Flood stuff from down the river

Today I went down the river to see what the high water looked like between Huntington and the Greenup Locks and Dam. I got a few photos worth sharing after I can select some and edit them, along with catching up on flood stuff. Figure on seeing my next post tonight, maybe even before your bedtime.