High waters close roads in Jefferson County

January 30, 1998


Staff Writer, Charles Town

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. - The sky was sunny Thursday, but the rain of recent days sent the Shenandoah River and Opequon Creek spilling out of their banks, officials said.

The National Weather Service canceled a flood warning for the Opequon Creek after it crested at about 5 p.m. Thursday at 12 feet, then immediately began to recede, said NWS meteorologist Phil Poole.

The flood stage on the Opequon Creek in Martinsburg, W.Va., is 10 feet.

The creek measured 8.9 feet at 7 p.m., he said.

The high water followed two days of heavy rain and melting snow. No more rain is expected until Tuesday or Wednesday, Poole said. By then, the rivers should be back to normal, he said.


The Shenandoah and Potomac rivers were expected to crest well below their flood stages at the measuring gauges, but in some lower-lying areas, the rivers overflowed their banks, officials said.

Low-lying roads along the Shenandoah, the Potomac and the Opequon were closed Wednesday night and throughout the day Thursday, officials said.

Signs were put up warning motorists, said emergency services dispatcher David Holmes.

Two vehicles had to be pulled out of the high water after the drivers ignored the warning signs, and their vehicles stalled, officials said.

Both were recovered without incident, officials said.

The closed roads were Sulphur Springs Road along the Opequon Creek, River Road outside Shepherdstown, W.Va., along the Potomac River, and Bloomery Road, John Rissler Road, Dutch Hill Road and Lewis Road along the Shenandoah, Holmes said.

Harpers Ferry National Historical Park Superintendent Don Campbell said the Potomac and Shenandoah rivers were well below flood stages there and were not expected to cause any problems in the historic town.

Rain earlier this month forced the park service to remove equipment and vehicles after the rising Shenandoah River flooded Virginius Island, he said.

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