River waters start to recede

January 11, 1998

River waters start to recede


Staff Writer

When the Potomac River reached 18 feet overnight Friday, Harpers Ferry National Historical Park officials begin to worry that another flood was about to ravage the town, but the waters mercifully started to recede before any damage was done.

National Weather Service floodwatchers dropped a flood warning Saturday afternoon for the Potomac and Shenandoah rivers after the waters began to recede, said NWS metorologist Jim Wiesmueller from his Sterling, Va., office.

The warning stayed in effect for the Potomac down stream as the high waters made their way down toward Little Falls and onto to the Washington, D.C. area, Wiesmueller said.


The Shenandoah River peaked at 15 feet at Millville during the night, Wiesmueller said.

The Potomac peaked at 17.2 feet at Shepherdstown, 2.2 feet above flood stage.

Earlier the river reached a peak of more than 19 feet at Hancock, about 11 feet below flood stage.

"Overall this was a minor flood. There was no significant damage," Wiesmueller said.

Several of Jefferson County's lowest lying roads were still underwater and closed Saturday night, officials said.

Among them were Bloomery, Wilt and John Wissler roads, Rogers Road at Dutch Hill and River Road near Shepherdstown.

Also, a large sink hole developed in Blair Road in Bloomery that forced officials to close it to traffic.

Slopes closed

Meanwhile, in Mercersburg, Pa., last week's spring-like weather ruined the fun at Whitetail and Ski Liberty, the area's two ski resorts and officials at both remained doubtful when the slopes will reopen.

They saw a ray of hope on Saturday with thermometers hovering around 30 degrees. Snow-making at both resorts was expected to resume Saturday night and again tonight as long as temperatures cooperate, officials said.

Matt Sawyer, a spokesman at Whitetail in Mercersburg, said the cold front moving into the area over the weekend is still no guarantee that skiing there will resume early in the week.

"We're going to make snow at every opportunity," he said.

He predicted that skiing won't resume there until later on in the week.

Whitetail, like Ski Liberty in Carroll Valley, Pa., suspended operations earlier in the week because of the warm weather.

Lonnie Whitcomb at Ski Liberty said snow-making will go on all weekend in the hopes that the slopes can reopen Monday.

Skiers should check conditions before making the trip to either resort, officials said.

Whitetail's number is 717-328-9400. At Ski Liberty it's 717-642-9000.

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