Heavy rains cause problems for area
Heavy rainfall over the last two weeks caused streams to overflow their banks, resulting in minor flooding of the Potomac and Cacapon rivers and some road closures across the Morgan County area.
Some local areas received over six inches of rainfall last week, but a major flood was averted.
The Potomac River crested at 27.8 ft. at Paw Paw on Thursday morning, May 19, around 8 a.m. Flood stage is 25 ft. The boat ramp access area was flooded.
About three hours later, the Potomac crested at 25.4 ft. at Hancock, where flood stage is 30 ft.
Water levels began to recede Thursday afternoon, reducing the flood dangers.
West Virginia Division of Highways Supervisor John Coleman said almost every state road in Morgan County had some wash over and debris that had to be removed.
“They say April was the wettest month on record, but May is giving it a run,” Coleman said.
Last week, five county roads were closed at some point because of high water.
They included Johnsons Mill Road at the low water bridge, River Road at the Arch Bridge, Kilgore Road in Largent, Power House Road and Rockford Road at the Sparky Dawson Bridge in Great Cacapon, Coleman said.
The Cacapon River was running high and in Berkeley Springs, Warm Springs Run was just a foot or two from overflowing its banks.
Flooding on Sleepy Creek
On Tuesday evening, May 17, Alison Carter went outside to take pictures of the water from Sleepy Creek cascading over Covey Run Road in southern Morgan County.
“I was standing six to eight feet back taking pictures and after a few minutes I looked down at my feet and they were covered with water. It was really coming up fast,” Carter said.
By 8 p.m., Covey Run Road was completely underwater and by 9 p.m. the bridge over Sleepy Creek there was submerged.
Once the water started to recede, Carter said you could see the damage to the road.
Joseph Snidemiller of Highland Ridge Road in the Posey Hollow area said he has had a problem with flooding for the last 15 years.
Snidemiller, who is 62 and retired, owns land on both sides of the road and the one lane bridge over Sleepy Creek. His driveway runs next to the creek.
“Every time it rains like it did this week, I have to fix my driveway,” he said.
Snidemiller’s driveway is on the west side of the creek where the flooding occurs.
“When it floods it doesn’t run under the bridge. There is more water flowing across my driveway than there is under the bridge,” he said. “It’s been eating my property away for 15 years.”
Snidemiller said that over the years he has talked to the Division of Highways, Army Corps of Engineers and the Eastern Panhandle Conservation District about the flooding, but has gotten little response.
“I had some heavy equipment in here and even offered to fix the problem with the creek myself, but was told if I did, I would be fined $25,000,” Snidemiller said.
Asked about Snidemiller’s problem, Highways Supervisor Coleman said the creek near the driveway needs to be rerouted and it is not a highways problem. He suggested Snidemiller continue to contact the Army Corps of Engineers.