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Ohio River Recedes, Now Cleanup Begins

Present at Sunday’s flood meeting were Ohio County Deputy Emergency Management Director Wayland ... some residents unable to leave their residence and others not having their homes affected at all. “Most of my preparations involved having the heavy ...

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A visitor to Wheeling’s Heritage Port looks out at the swollen but receding Ohio River on Sunday. Photo by Miranda Sebroski WHEELING — As the swollen Ohio River returned to its banks Sunday, local officials spent the day planning cleanup efforts that will begin in earnest today (function() { var ARTICLE_URL = window.location.href; var CONTENT_ID = '861193'; document.write(''+'\x3C/scr'+'ipt>');})();Emergency officials will spend all day assessing the area, with a particular focus on Wheeling Island, which saw the area’s heaviest impacts from the weekend floodingThe river crested just below 39 feet early Sunday, and receded below flood stage by the afternoon. Present at Sunday’s flood meeting were Ohio County Deputy Emergency Management Director Wayland Harris, Wheeling Police Chief Shawn Schwertfeger, Wheeling Public Works Director Russell Jebbia, Ohio County Emergency Management Director Lou Vargo, Ohio County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy John Schultz and Deputy John Haglock The West Virginia Division of Highways is making efforts to address flood-related road problems, according to District 6 Manager Gus Suwaid. “Obviously, we have our hands fullI think we have a total of five roads we had to shut down due to washouts and minor slips,” Suwaid said“Roads included in the closures are Stone and Shannon Road in Wheeling and Castleman Run Road in Valley GroveThe flooding is one of those public enemies that you have to deal with, and this time of the year makes it more challenging.” According to Suwaid, flooding in July depleted half his departmen’ts budget in less than a weekHe said a damage assessment this week will determine whether the Wheeling area will be eligible for Federal Emergency Management Agency funding According to Harris, Wheeling Island is the main priority in terms of rehabilitation of flood damage being addressed “Once the Island is straightened out, Heritage Port will be addressed, but that is what we’re taking care of first,” he said“Heritage Port is not a high priority.” Officials reported South Stone Street in addition to a portion of South Penn Street on Wheeling Island remaining closed for Monday, while Wheeling Island Hotel-Casino-Racetrack reopened at 5 p.mSunday, but live greyhound racing isn’t scheduled to resume until Wednesday. Barricades were removed from multiple flood zones in the Wheeling Island area at 5 p.mSunday evening with some residents unable to leave their residence and others not having their homes affected at all “Most of my preparations involved having the heavy storage in my basement moved, making sure I had groceries and basic necessities,” said Victoria Sidon, who lives on Ohio Street on Wheeling IslandI spent most of my prep time assisting my mother, who also lives on the island, but is in a closer flood zoneShe did get some water, but not too muchSo far, her cleanup is going good.” As of Sunday afternoon, the Ohio County EMA said fewer than a dozen people contacted the agency for flood assistanceSchwertfeger said there did appear to be any unusual crime issues related to the flood “We haven’t had many problems with trespassers, break-ins or anythingIt’s looking pretty good,” said Schwertfeger. According to Ohio County Schools Communications Coordinator Gabe Wells, Madison Elementary School on Wheeling Island avoided flood damage “Everything was moved out of the area so that turned out to be fineThe Madison staff did a fantastic job,” said Wells Wheeling Island Stadium did suffer some damage, but not as severe as school officials had feared. “There was some damage in the locker room and … the carpet will need to be replacedThe turf is going to be OK and it’s great newsThere’s some mud on the turf, which is OK,” said Wells. The cost of repairs to the stadium has yet to be determined. “I do want to thank the Ohio County Schools staff members for preparing against what could have been a bad situationThey did a great job,” said Wells Across the river in Ohio, a deputy at the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office said flooding in his area was minor, adding no one had called the department for assistance with flood-related problems. Officials at the Harrison County Sheriff’s Office could not be reached for comment. Appalachian Outreach Incis offering bottled water to those in need, with the Red Cross offering cleaning supplies to residents at Madison Elementary at 9 a.mMonday Anyone who needs assistance with pumping water or obtaining supplies can call the Wheeling-Ohio County Emergency Management Agency at 304-234-3695. try { _402_Show(); } catch(e) {} COMMENTS Top Headlines Supreme Court To Hear Labor Union Funding Case WASHINGTON (AP) — America’s union leaders are about to find out if they were right to fiercely oppose Neil ... President Could Back Stronger Background Checks for Gun Buyers WEST PALM BEACH, Fla(AP) — From the confines of his golf club, President Donald Trump offered support for a ... 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