Emergency Management Monitoring Creeks and Streams for Ice Jams - WTRF 7 News Sports Weather - Wheeling Steubenville

Emergency Management Agencies Monitoring Creeks and Streams for Ice Jams, Flooding

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After such a harsh winter, the latest warm-up is being welcomed by many in the Ohio Valley, but the rising temps have caught the attention of Ohio County EMA Director Lou Vargo.

"With the warm weather obviously we're going to have ice melts and the fear is once the ice starts moving and gets to a place where it jams up and forms a dam, we have flash flooding," said Vargo.

Marshall County Emergency Management Director Tom Hart said that his county is not too bad, the majority of Fish Creek is cleared, but Big Grave Creek outside of Moundsville is jammed.

Flash flooding has happened before in the Wheeling area. TJ Radevskis remembers the last big flood when the waters reached his restaurant on National Road. "The last one was in 2004 and that was devastating," said Radevski. "Hopefully we'll never get another one like that. That was what I called a 100-year flood."

Elm Grove resident George Franko believes that the large chunks of ice are spaced out enough to cause any issues with flooding.

"I've seen ice on the river and it seems to be flowing right now," said Franko. "There's ice up here along the roads that's kind of in different spots but I don't think it's going to be much of a problem."

Even though Franko believes it might not be a problem right now but TJ Radevski hopes everyone realizes how real the threat of flooding is.

"Don't ever underestimate them," said Radevski. "Always take them seriously."

Lou Vargo says EMA officials along with local police and fire departments are monitoring the creeks and streams but they'll still need the public's help.

"The people we really rely on are the people who live on those creeks and see that or see the ice moving," said Vargo. "Give us a call so we can know and we can check. And most importantly if they see any water backing up over the banks or flooding is occurring, call us right away so we can get that word out to all their neighbors and the areas being involved."