Pumps will keep working in Wellsville

WELLSVILLE — While water levels at the village marina did go down Tuesday morning, officials will continue to monitor the area with the possibility of remnants from Hurricane Florence looming.

The village’s water pumps have been in full operation since Monday afternoon as water levels late Tuesday rose to more than 9 feet in the marina at Yellow Creek off the Ohio River, where measurements are taken. This came following last weekend’s heavy rains that hit the area along with heavy rains east flowing west on the river, causing levels locally to increase.

Fire Chief Barry Podwel, who has been in contact with the Army Corps of Engineers in Pittsburgh and the county Emergency Management Agency, said the highest levels at the marina during the weekend were at 11.5 feet, which also is what the marina’s gauge read at 6 a.m. Tuesday.

By 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, levels were at 10.5 feet.

“It’s coming down, so it must have crested sometime (Tuesday) morning,” Podwel said.

The pumps will remain in operation until levels at the marina go down to about 8.5 feet, Podwel said. A storm drain will then open at levels of 7 feet to prevent any inside flooding for residents living above the flood wall site.

However, Podwel said monitoring will continue for at least another week as Hurricane Florence is expected to reach the coasts of the Carolinas by today and make landfall on Thursday, which could lead to the potential of inland flooding throughout Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia throughout next week.

Podwel said for the flood wall to be constructed, levels should reach at least 15 feet, taking into consideration how much rain hits in a certain time frame, but also stated the wall would go up at 13 feet. He also mentioned village officials also check with other locations, including the New Cumberland Locks and Dam in Stratton and the Montgomery Locks and Dam in Monaca, Pa.

“I go by that gauge, and whatever that gauge tells me, that’s what I’m going to do,” Podwel said. “It depends on how quick it’s coming up and everything.”