Is The Worst Behind Us?

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The water began rising Monday around Janet Sims' home in Williamstown. The family got most of its belongings out, but the rented mobile home still has water in it.

"We moved at about 1:30-2:00 (Monday) night," Sims says. (Tuesday) morning, it was up inside. It started up in the back room, and by morning it was up in the heater vents."

All afternoon, the river level just outside the Lafayette Hotel held steady just above 38 feet, but that was enough to seen water over some streets in downtown Marietta and on the main business road on Pike Street, and that made it slow going as the only detour around Pike is via Acme Street to near Interstate 77, and with the Williamstown-Marietta Bridge closed, a morning chain-reaction accident near the interstate bridge backed up traffic even further.

The only way to get around is in a boat; some Marietta businessmen have taken that to heart as they try to get to their building on Pike Street.

"We're still up out of the water," says Marty Miller of Alliance Petroleum. "It looks like the water has stopped, and we ought to be in good shape."

The water is also causing problems for the same business which was destroyed by fire just after Thanksgiving Day. Water Tuesday surrounded the Pike Street building where "mad hen primitives" moved just after the November fire, and the big flood may be followed by the "big freeze".

Just days after temperatures hit the 60's they're supposed to drop to near zero Tuesday night and possibly in the days ahead. That could mean the water that's still on streets and roads could freeze in the next day or so.

"If we do have some freezing that isn't a deep water situation, we'll clear it and open the road as soon as possible," says Stephanie Filson, spokeswoman for Ohio Department of Highways District 10. "We'll treat it like any other snow and ice situation."