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Four Rivers Region Emergency Recovery Updates

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Please check back here often, we’ll continue to update this page as more information comes in.

US Rep Ed Whitfield tours the region today.

Kentucky Senator Rand Paul has issued a statement on the regional flooding.

The Kentucky National Guard has been mobilized for flood relief.  Read more.

UPDATE: 8:30 AM Wednesday- More updates to Road Conditions, Hopkins Co. Schools (one-hour delay), Montgomery Co. Schools (one-hour delay).

Latest Recap ~ In spite of tornado warning issued across western Kentucky yesterday, our area appears to have escaped damage. Calloway County Emergency Management Director Bill Call says the damage from yesterday morning’s high winds may be cleared from most roads, but recovery work remains.

Work also continues to deal with flooding on the Ohio River, which is expected to crest at Paducah at just above the major flood stage of 52 feet. In Smithland, the river is forecast to rise well above the major flood threshold and major damage is expected.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is attempting to alleviate Ohio River flooding by cutting back outflow of the dams on Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley through Friday. Their goal is to reach zero outflow. Barkley and Kentucky pool levels will begin to rise steadily before topping out above normal summer levels. The dams are expected to begin releasing water again Monday.

Submit your photos!

We’re gathering a collection of listener-submitted photos of flooding in the Four Rivers Region, along the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers. Many thanks to the photographers for sharing these photos with the WKMS community! If you have photos you’d like us to add to this gallery, please send them to msu.wkmsnews@murraystate.edu – along with a caption and your name so we can credit you.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/wkms/sets/72157626459444073/

April 26 Evening Storm Overview:

Two more storm systems are expected to pass through the region tonight, tracking from Arkansas through Tennessee, Missouri, and Kentucky. National Weather Service forecasters say two major systems will move eastward tonight. The first will be between 7 and 10 tonight and the second system will pass through in the early hours of tomorrow morning. Meteorologist Chris Noles says they are going to pose similar threats as the storm last night.

“I think it goes without saying that all threats are in play with these two events coming up tonight- tornadoes, large hail, damaging winds. Even though the watch just gets into west Kentucky and southeast Missouri, by ten o’clock this evening, I think this threat can move into the Evansville / tri-state area.”

The storms tonight will likely cause additional damage and add to the already flooded situation.

Wednesday forecast from the National Weather Service in Paducah

April 2011 Flood Overview:

The Kentucky National Guard is mobilizing 80 soldiers to support flooding in western Kentucky. The mobilization comes at the request of Governor Steve Beshear. The 2113th Transportation Company is erecting water barriers outside of Smithland in Livingston County. Two dozen Guards are sandbagging areas throughout Ballard County. More than 30 Guards are placing sandbags and water barriers around the Kentucky Education Television building on the border of Henderson and Daviess counties. Read more.

Kentucky Senator Rand Paul has issued a statement on the regional flooding.

U.S. Congressman Ed Whitfield plans several stops in western Kentucky Wednesday to survey storm damage. WKMS will have more details on the Congressman’s visit later. So far, Senator Mitch McConnell does not plan to visit any areas in far western Kentucky.

The following counties/cities have declared a state of emergency:

Counties: Ballard, Carlisle, Calloway, Carroll, Crittenden, Fleming, Fulton, Hardin, Henderson, Hickman, Livingston, Marshall, McCracken, Morgan, Nicholas, Spencer, Union and Webster.

Cities: Bardwell, Benton, Calvert City, Carrollton, Hardin, Hawesville, West Liberty and West Point.

No reports of injuries or deaths have been reported from these storms.

Highway engineers have repaired a landslide along Kentucky 93 in Lyon County south of Eddyville. But Emergency Management Director Kenny Watts cautions, the repair is unstable and that section of highway is down to one lane. This is on KY 93 between the Holiday Hills Subdivision and Eddy Creek. Watts reports significant damage to Kuttawa Harbor, including a dock partially separated from the shore, one capsized boat and several more with superficial damage. A listener reports several boats leaving Buzzard Rock, where damages were reported, and heading to Eddy Creek. Overall in the county, he says roadways are cleared of trees, though some roads are still closed.

Heavy rains and multiple rounds of severe weather occurred over much of Kentucky, Southwest Missouri, Southern Illinois and Southern Indiana over the weekend. This weather pattern is expected to continue for the next several days. As a result, sharp rises have occurred on the minor rivers and tributaries across most of the Commonwealth; minor to moderate flooding is expected on these water courses.

The Ohio and Mississippi Rivers are forecast to have major flooding with the possibility of historic flooding along the rivers from KY/TN Line on the Mississippi through the Cairo confluences and all the way up the Ohio River to Smithland, Ky. Moderate flooding on the Ohio is expected from Smithland upstream to Louisville.

Flash flooding and river flooding remains a major concern in Kentucky. People and businesses along waterways should be taking the necessary steps to reduce flood threats to their property and families.

Minor to moderate flooding is occurring on the upper Ohio River from Cincinnati to Louisville, while moderate flooding is occurring from Louisville to Owensboro. Major flooding is expected to occur downstream from Owensboro to the Mississippi River and on the Tennessee-Kentucky state line. Local evacuations have taken place and are expected to continue in flood-prone areas.

Sandbagging assistance for Ballard County and Smithland has been requested and 24 Kentucky National Guardsmen (KyNG) have been deployed to each location. Hancock County has requested additional sandbags and the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) has provided 10,000 sandbags to county emergency officials. Thirty-one KyNG personnel are enroute to the Daviess-Henderson County line to assist sandbagging operations at the KET/KEWS Tower.

The Commissioner of the Kentucky Department for Public Health says flood waters contain contaminants that should be avoided. Dr. William Hacker also recommends seeking medical attention if you come into contact with flood waters with an open wound.

Dr. Hacker says, “If you have open wounds or lesions, or if your tetanus shot is not up to date, you may want to check with your healthcare provider if you’ve been in the flood waters, about getting a tetanus booster. Those are the major factors we’re dealing with right now.”

WKMS Flyover Western Kentucky April 26. Photo by Angela Rowlett

Dr. Hacker says flood waters frequently contain chemicals, animal waste, and run-off from septic systems that haven’t functioned properly. More information on tetanus shots can be obtained from regular health care providers or local health departments.  More detailed health and safety guidelines can be found at the Health Alerts website: http://healthalerts.ky.gov.

In support of the ongoing severe weather threat Kentucky Emergency Management (KYEM) has activated the Commonwealth Emergency Operations Center (CEOC) at Level II. Another weather system is approaching the Commonwealth bringing the threat of additional heavy rains and the possibility of severe weather through Wednesday. Additional personnel from KYEM and Kentucky National Guard (KyNG) are now on CEOC duty monitoring the developing situation and fulfilling any requests for assistance.

Disaster declarations have been announced for the City of Bardwell as well as Carlisle, Fulton, Hickman, Spencer and Livingston Counties. Paducah and Metropolis’s mayors have declared a disaster, as have Ballard and McCracken counties.  Other counties in Southern Illinois have declared disasters. Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear has announced a state of emergency.

The National Weather Service (NWS) offices serving Kentucky have been in communication with emergency officials across the Commonwealth discussing the situation and potential threat of high wind, large hail, heavy rain and possible tornadoes. KYEM officials, in turn, have maintained direct communications with the Governor’s office.

The Transportation Cabinet is providing equipment like pumps, dump trucks and sandbagging machines to counties who have requested them. Crews are also patrolling flood-prone areas and they are ready to respond to additional flooding. They also respond to calls about flooded roads that come from law enforcement or the public at large.

Emergency officials encourage individuals to use NOAA Weather Alert Radios and stay tuned to local media for weather updates and flood information.

Should you encounter a downed power line, do not approach it, call your utility provider. Should you encounter water over a flooded roadway, “Stop – Turn Around – Don’t Drown!” It only takes six inches of moving water to sweep a person off their feet and two feet of rushing water to sweep away a full-size SUV.

On April 26, Chad Lampe and Chris Taylor from WKMS News surveyed storm damage and flooding in the region from an aerial view. Many thanks to Pilot John Hewlett, Dr. JD Outland for the use of his plane and Angela Rowlett for the photos. See the video below.

Click here to see aerial photos.

Weather Conditions Map from the National Weather Service in Paducah

Governor Beshear declares a State of Emergency

From the Office of the Governor, issued April 26:

“We continue to closely monitor the weather conditions and rising waters and remain in constant contact with our emergency management officials,” said Gov. Steve Beshear. “The Commonwealth Emergency Operations Center remains activated at Level II with additional staffing from Kentucky Division of Emergency Management (KYEM) and the Kentucky National Guard monitoring the situation, fielding calls and responding to requests for assistance.”

From the Office of the Governor, issued April 25:

Governor Steve Beshear declared a State of Emergency Monday, April 25 due to the severe storms and flooding that have impacted the state beginning last week.

“Today I have issued this declaration in order to make sure our citizens and local officials have all the help they need to prepare and respond to these storms,” said Gov. Beshear. “This declaration opens up the pipelines and the purse strings to enable us to get resources to where they are needed, as quickly as possible. In addition, all of state government has been mobilized to assist Kentuckians in need.”

Gov. Beshear is also prepared to assist Kentucky farmers and consumers. “My office has already been in contact with the United States Department of Agriculture, and we will request a disaster declaration if flooding causes damage to agricultural lands as is expected,” said Gov. Beshear. “In addition, my office has conferred with the office of Attorney General Jack Conway, and as a result of these conversations, we will be issuing an order to prevent price gouging shortly.”

“Please follow instructions from your local emergency management officials,” said Gov. Beshear. No trip is worth taking the risk through a flooded roadway.”

Ballard County

Shelter at Margaret Hank Memorial Church in McCracken County.

To help with sandbagging, report to the Ballard County Road Department in Barlow and they will assign you.

Sandbagging Help Needed

Ballard County is requesting immediate help with volunteers for sandbagging and evacuations. Call Ballard County Emergency Services at 270-665-5083.

Ballard County Judge-Executive Vickie Viniard says they are in dire need of volunteers to help sandbag around people’s homes. If you are not busy protecting your own homes or businesses, Ballard County sure could use your help! Anyone who can help is asked to report any time they can to the county road department office on Lake Street in Barlow (across from the BC Senior Citizens’ Center).

Sand bag deliveries are coming in at Ballard County. Emergency Manager Michael Clarke says some families have already evacuated from Bandana and Oscar. Clarke says water will likely top out at 60 feet in Wickliffe. He says most of the town should be high enough to avoid flooding. Hickman County Judge-Executive Greg Pruitt this morning declared a state of emergency. He says the major concern in his county are the 50 – 60 households in the Moscow community.

“They’re basically two entrances into that little neighborhood in the county. And when water gets up as high as it’s predicted, both ends of Moscow get shut off. And so we’re paying particular attention to that area.”

Calloway County, Murray

A wrecked car in a Murray neighborhood

See pictures of Murray storm damage.

Murray State University officials expect to open the campus Wednesday unless weather Tuesday night causes additional damage. Winds last night knocked out windows and damaged the roof of one building on campus. Facilities management workers are making repairs and clearing debris from fallen trees. Community Relations Director Mark Welch says officials will hold a meeting early tomorrow morning to decide whether to close a second day.

Murray State softball’s scheduled doubleheader against Western Kentucky for Wednesday, April 27 at 5 p.m. has been postponed due to persistent heavy rains in the Murray area. No make up date has currently been set. The Racers are scheduled to host Tennessee State for three games this weekend, playing two at 1 p.m. Saturday afternoon before closing the series at 1 p.m. Sunday.

Calloway County EOC Briefing April 26

Incident Commander Jeff Steen and EMS Director Bill Call urge alert for additional, significant storms much like Monday night’s system passing through our region between 7 and 10 p.m. tonight and 4 to 10 a.m. tomorrow. Calloway EOC will remain open until the storm systems have cleared. Emergency personnel should keep radios charged and cars fueled for possible activation. A disaster declaration has been approved for Calloway.

Although Calloway County Schools have declared opening tomorrow as all campuses have power restored, the NWS forecast of the timing of the second round of storms falls during morning student transport time. It is expected that most school systems will make announcements regarding schools being in session tomorrow closer to the morning deadline, pending the severity of overnight storm damage if it occurs.

Calloway County Red Cross is operating a shelter at First Baptist Church in Murray with 12 residents by Tuesday afternoon preparing to spend the night. There is capacity for 74 shelterees at that site. The Red Cross is looking for a showering site for Wednesday.

Complaints have been received throughout the day regarding no activation of sirens prior to 101 mph winds last night. Officials say without official sightings or warnings tornado sirens are not activated. Severe thunderstorms may bring higher winds than weak tornadoes.

Murray Electric System reports 98 percent restoration of household power with scattered households still without power although all primary circuits are working. A spokesman said that if the power isn’t on Tuesday night it will not be restored until tomorrow. There are still problems with falling limbs on line that will continue for a few days. Three streets remained closed because of downed power lines: N 5th Street, N 6th Street, and Big Creek Drive.

At 4 p.m. it was estimated that about 2000 customers of West Kentucky Rural Electric remain without power.

Crews of the Calloway County Rescue Squad and DES were still clearing trees from small rural roads by Tuesday afternoon.

Officials warn extreme caution around downed power lines. Homeowners are urged to be careful with generators to avoid backfeeding power down lines that may be being repaired. Do not run generators inside because of the danger of the fumes resulting from operation. When power is out at dangerous intersections, proceed with caution as if a 4-way stop.

Residents of Murray should use reputable tree cutters and roofers from the region. In the city a business license is required for both services, so ask. Do not engage a tree cutter or roofer without appropriate credentials. Officials are being asked about homeowner debris removal sites and Judge Executive Larry Elkins advises that there is no permitted site at present, but one may be requested. Contractors should remove and dispose of debris.

The roof of Murray Home and Auto has been partially ripped off; a utility pole is leaning on Murray Supply on Main Street, Olive Street East, South 6th and South 16th Streets are closed to traffic. 94-East in Calloway County at the Clarks River Bridge is down to one lane. Officials warn power outages may be affecting some traffic light intersections. If so, treat those as a four-way stop.

Clearing out trees in Murray

According to National Weather Service spotters, hundreds of trees have been uprooted.  Power lines and poles have also been reported down on roads throughout Calloway.  Wind speeds up to 71 miles per hour were reported in Henderson County.  Gauges in Caldwell County recorded speeds of 50 miles an hour before equipment blew away.  Kentucky Mesonet also reported an 101 mile an hour wind in Calloway.

West Kentucky Rural Electric crews worked through the night and had restored power to about half of the households, leaving about 5000 still off with no immediate timeframe for restoration.

County Judge Executive Larry Elkins has signed an emergency declaration and sent it to the State EOC for signature to start mechanisms for recovery resources and had spoken to KY Governor Steve Beshear about adding Calloway to other west Kentucky counties already covered in the Governor’s disaster declarations (due primarily to flood damages).   He reports a vehicle destroyed at the courthouse and a very large tree down on the lawn.

Building damage due to wind includes minor roof damages at Murray State, considerable roof damages to Pagliai’s shopping center complex on Chestnut, destroyed shipping and receiving area attached to Pella, shingles off homes, trees down on structures, trailers blown over, and roads blocked due to downed trees.  No injuries had been reported by this time.

Road crews, Calloway County Fire and Rescue, and Calloway County DES worked chainsaws and draggers through the night clearing downed trees.  Volunteers with chain saws not already trained members of these units should not contact them but concentrate on helping in their immediate neighborhoods.

All emergency services were reported up and running.  Both Murray City and Calloway County offices are open and operating. Gas, water, and sewer systems are operational. Phone systems in Murray are operational with the exception of Mediacom.

Family Resource Center operation at East Elementary resumed Tuesday morning.  Those with needs should call 762-7333/978-0542.

The American Red Cross opened a shelter at First Baptist Church, Murray Tuesday for those needing power for oxygen apparatus.  It was expected that a showering location would open at First United Methodist Church.

Officials caution motorists that getting out and around downed trees that may have engaged power lines poses considerable danger.  Also homeowners using generators must watch for backfeeding downed power lines to avoid injury to workers trying to restore power.

Officials: Damage to Electrical Infrastructure 10x Worse than 2009 Ice Storm.

Bee Creek Soccer Complex is CLOSED until further notice. Many trees are downed, goals are misplaced, nets are destroyed, and debris litters the fields.

Carlisle County

In addition to preparing for flooding, Carlisle County officials are also recovering from the weekend’s severe storm damage. No injuries were reported, but high winds, and a possible tornado tore off roofs and knocked down utility poles. County Emergency Manager Missy Roland says they’ve turned their attention to flash flooding. Roland says because the ground is so saturated, water will stick around in low-lying areas.

Bardwell Mayor on Suspected Tornado Damage

A suspected tornado over the weekend caused over $3 million in damage to downtown Bardwell and Carlisle County. Schools there are closed today. Several buildings’ roofs were torn off and others collapsed Saturday. Many utility lines and poles were downed causing electricity outages, but power has since been restored. No injuries were reported. Bardwell Mayor Philip King says several city firefighters witnessed the event.

“When you’ve got debris in the air spinning. That is a tornado,” King says.

The National Weather Service has been unable to send an assessment team to verify the weather event was in fact a tornado because of flooded roadways and current severe weather observation priorities.

Flooding in Hickman, Kentucky, April 2011 Photo by Erica Marie Blincoe

Fulton County

Fulton County Judge Executive David Gallagher announced that he has declared Fulton County in a state of emergency because of heavy rains and flooding along the Mississippi River. Emergency management officials met Monday morning with the Fulton County Levee Board, officials from the cities of Hickman and Fulton and emergency service agencies to make plans for what is predicted to be a flood of historic proportions.

Judge Gallagher and emergency officials are urging residents living in low lying areas to make plans now to evacuate if conditions get worse. Now is the time to check your emergency kit and evacuation plans. You are reminded to never drive through standing water. “Turn around, don’t drown.”

Hopkins County

Hopkins Co. Schools (one-hour delay)

Livingston County – Smithland

Shelter at Margaret Hank Memorial Church

If you want to sandbag, go the Road Department or the river front in Smithland .. or go across from the Dollar General in Ledbetter.

Sandbagging Help Needed

Livingston County is requesting immediate help with volunteers for sandbagging and evacuations. Call  Livingston County Central Dispatch at 270-928-2196.

Livingston County Schools remain closed until further notice.

Residents of Smithland are being evacuated from their homes due to flash floods caused by last night’s storms. Deputy Director of Livingston County Emergency Management Services David Koon estimates that one hundred residents have been evacuated since yesterday. Evacuees are being relocated to a tri-county shelter in Paducah. A temporary floodwall is being constructed in Smithland to lessen flooding. Koon says the Livingston County EMS working alongside the Livingston County Fire Department has placed twenty five thousand sandbags in residential areas in the last 2 days in response to flooding.

Emergency management teams along the Ohio and Mississippi rivers are filling sandbags and recruiting volunteers ahead of possibly record floods next week. Livingston County Emergency Management Director David Koon says flooding at Smithland is his major concern. The river is expected to crest at 54 feet there, and Smithland’s flood gates only go to 50 feet. Koon says water will make it into town by Wednesday. He’s telling residents to get out.

“Get somewhere to higher ground. If you don’t get out now, you’re going to get trapped behind the flood waters. And then we’re going to have a hard time getting to you if you have an emergency.”

Lyon County – Eddyville

There is a shelter at Lyon County Senior Citizens Center.  They may also open up the Judicial Center.

No need for sandbags just yet, but if that changes sandbagging will be done at Lee S. Jones Park.

Highway engineers have repaired a landslide along Kentucky 93 in Lyon County south of Eddyville. But Emergency Management Director Kenny Watts cautions, the repair is unstable and that section of highway is down to one lane. This is on KY 93 between the Holiday Hills Subdivision and Eddy Creek. The slide is attributed to saturated soil from recent heavy rain. Watts reports significant damage to Kuttawa Harbor, including one capsized boat and several more with superficial damage. He says, one dock partially separated from the bank and pushed out into the river. A listener reports several boats leaving Buzzard Rock, where damages were reported, and heading to Eddy Creek. Overall in the county, he says roadways are cleared of trees, though some roads are still closed. To his knowledge, most customers are restored of power. Watts urges people not to cross water-covered roadways.

After the April 25 storms, Kuttawa Harbor suffered roof damage with a dock loose and one boat damaged, but operations will continue.

Floodgates in downtown Paducah being installed on Monday, April 25 Photo by Chaplain Kempton D. Baldridge, Seamen's Church Institute

McCracken County – Paducah

Shelter at Margaret Hank Memorial Church.

If you would like to volunteer to fill sandbags, call the McCracken County EOC office at 448-1500 and they’ll tell you where they need you.

Sandbagging Help Needed

The Tri-County Shelter at the Margaret Hank Church in Paducah is asking for volunteers to help distribute canteen items for those who are sandbagging. The shelter is also seeking donations for bottled water and grocery gift cards. Please contact the Paducah Red Cross chapter to assist in this effort: 270-442-3575.

Flooding update from City Commission Meeting – Tuesday, April 26, 2011

City Engineer-Public Works Director Rick Murphy briefed the Commission on the latest with the Ohio River flooding.  Murphy announced the latest projection from the National Weather Service shows the Ohio River cresting in Paducah on Tuesday, May 3 at 53 feet.  That is two feet lower than the crest projected yesterday.  If the Ohio crests at 53 feet, it will match the flooding seen in 1950.  As a visual, if the City of Paducah did not have a floodwall, a flood stage of 53 feet would mean that water would be three feet deep on Broadway.  At this time Paducah has installed 37 of its 47 floodgates.  Murphy will monitor the forecast.  The final floodgates are necessary to close only if the Ohio is projected to crest higher than 53 feet.  Murphy explained that the work to build a protective levee around the Julian Carroll Convention Center and the Expo Center is continuing.  The revised forecast means the protective levee under construction will not need to be built as high as expected, but the City will be prepared to go higher if necessary.  City Manager Jeff Pederson says the Convention Center has flood insurance and that the City is maintaining documentation in case the preventive measures qualify for FEMA reimbursement.  Murphy also explained that water seepage through the floodgates is normal and expected.  Murphy says, “The seepage structurally has no effect on the gates.”  Mayor Bill Paxton thanked the hard work by the City staff in installing the floodgates.  Mayor Paxton says, “It just shows what a good group of people we have working for the City.”  Pederson says the City and County have been working together to make sure that citizens and property are safe.  Pederson says, “There’s a lot of good coordination and cooperation out there.”

Due to flooding, the Greenway Trail is closed until further notice.

As the lower Ohio River faces record flood levels, businesses along the riverfront are urgently working to protect lives and properties.  Employees at James Marine, which has multiple locations along the riverfront, have been sandbagging the area around their offices all day. A spokesperson at the Clarks River Road office says water could flood their building tomorrow. They’ve had to use a pontoon to travel around their Walker Boat Yard location.

Paducah and McCracken County have also declared a state of emergency. City officials are installing the city’s 20 floodgates today. Paducah spokesperson Pam Spencer says they hope to have all of the gates up by Wednesday. The closure will cut off the Convention and Expo Center. That means the American Quilter’s Society Show and Contest will move to an alternate space for their event this week. AQS President Meredith Shroeder says they considered canceling the show.

“And the main reason we did not, we had so many people coming from out of town. They had airlines, they had non-refundable hotel rooms. They would have lost all that. And so we determined that, well, we believe this is workable, we can do this.” 14 sec. Meredith

Update regarding Quilt Show

From Elaine Spalding, Paducah Chamber: The flood gates are being installed and Paducah is in a state of emergency due to high water. However, the AQS Quilt Show is still on!

All the events scheduled in Expo Center & Convention Center have been relocated.
Quilt Museum – open w/ same events + Food tents and Live Auction
Carson Center – open w/ same events
Expo Center & Convention Center – closed; events moved to Pavilion
Pavilion – open; previous vendors moved to Mall area (old Circuit City and Office Max bldg’s)
First Baptist Church – venue for seminars

The CVB is printing new maps & PATS will have all this info for Quilters.

Trigg County

Straight-line winds made a seven- or eight-mile swipe through Trigg County. Emergency Management Director Randy Wade reports downed trees have taken out power lines and about at last report, about 1,500 customers were still without power. Wade says the majority of the damage he’s seen has been roof damage—a metal roof stripped from a structure, and damages from trees falling on homes. He reports no injuries as of yet.

Alexander County, IL – Cairo (also, Missouri update)

Shelter at Shawnee Community College in Ullin

If you would like to volunteer, report to the Alexander County Highway Department.  It’s on Route 3 in Olive Branch.

Cairo Residents Begin to Evacuate

The mayor of Cairo, Illinois says about 100 people have moved to temporary shelters as flooding threats loom. Mayor Judson Childs issued a city-wide appeal today, urging residents to evacuate. Meanwhile, a final decision was delayed on a plan to intentionally punch a massive hole in a Missouri levee to protect Cairo. Childs says he endorses the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers proposal to break the levee at Birds Point in Mississippi County, Missouri. The move would relieve upstream pressure, protecting Cairo. But the Corps is wrestling with potential impacts on valuable Missouri farmland.

Illinois Lieutenant Governor Supports Breach

Illinois Lieutenant Governor Sheila Simon is defending the idea of intentionally breaching a Missouri levee to reduce flooding in Cairo. Missouri officials object to the plan, saying it would endanger 130,000 acres of prime farmland. State of Missouri officials announced today they’ll sue the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Simon told The Associated Press that farmers will be compensated for their losses and will be able to use the land next year. On the other hand, flooding could devastate the poor town of Cairo. She noted an Illinois levee was intentionally breached during 1993 flooding. Simon also says the Army Corps of Engineers would not break the Birds Point levee until water had already topped the levee. The Corps of Engineers says it will put off a decision until at least Wednesday.

Massac County, IL – Metropolis

If you’d like to volunteer, contact city hall at 618-524-4016 or 524-2713

Waters continue to rise around Metropolis. Mayor Billy McDaniel says water is already creeping into the city’s floodplain. McDaniel applauds residents who are sandbagging around their  houses, though he says the efforts may be futile. “We probably will have a voluntary evacuation, y’know to try to get—we have many people that’s moving now. They’ve realized they’re fighting a losing battle there.” McDaniel1, 10 sec. Massac County Emergency Manager Larry Douglass says the Ohio River may get higher than the 1937 flood. Metropolis doesn’t have a flood gauge. National Weather Service officials say Paducah topped out at 60.6 feet in ‘37. Metropolis officials have opened Waldo Baptist Church as a community shelter, providing meals, showers, and laundry facilities to residents. McDaniel says another shelter at the city community center is opening today. That shelter will not provide food.

See (cellphone) video footage of flooding at a Metropolis, IL trailer park where residents allege officials “don’t care.”

Waters continue to rise around Metropolis. Mayor Billy McDaniel says water is already creeping into the city’s floodplain. McDaniel applauds residents who are sandbagging around their houses, though he says the efforts may be futile. Massac County Emergency Manager Larry Douglass says the Ohio River may get higher than the 1937 flood. Metropolis doesn’t have a flood gauge. National Weather Service officials say Paducah topped out at 60.6 feet in ‘37. Metropolis officials have opened Waldo Baptist Church as a community shelter, providing meals, showers, and laundry facilities to residents. McDaniel says another shelter at the city community center is opening today. That shelter will not provide food.

Henry County, TN

Henry County Emergency Management Director Ron Watkins reports they’re still assessing the county-wide damage. He estimates that 7,500 customers are without power as of this afternoon. Most of the northern portions of the county are still without power. “Several trees down across our roads. We’ve got crews out trying to remove the debris from the roadways. Probably about 20 homes have received substantial damages from trees falling on the homes.”

He reports one person was injured when a tree fell on the individual’s mobile home. That individual is at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Watkins wants to alert people in the region that the NOAA weather radio station for Weakley and Henry Counties is off the air. He says if you’re relying on the weather radio on warnings, you may want to pay attention to other news outlets.

Montgomery County, TN – Clarksville

Montgomery County Public Information Officer Elizabeth Black and I will be at the Emergency Operations Center overnight monitoring the potential severe weather and expected flooding. We will be posting any street or road closings, as well as significant damage reported, to both the city and county websites, and to the county’s FaceBook page.

At 8:00 PM, service has been restored to Bunker Hill, Pine Mountain Rd, Paddy Run, Shiloh Road area.

At 7:00 PM an estimated 4,000 customers were without power:

Crews are on site, working in the following locations:
Bunker Hill / Pine Mountain Rd
Ambrose / Mills Dr (behind Grandpa’s)
Bel Air Subdivision
Collinwood / Charlemagne
Slayden / Jostin Dr / Hawkins Rd
Sanders Road
Allenwood / West Park

Once crews restore power to these areas, they will be dispatched to the following:
Garth / Covington / Bond
Lillian / Faye Dr
Brothers Rd / Vaughn / Riverbend
Hadley Dr / Tobacco Rd
Storybook / King Rd / Wallace Blvd / King Rd / Durrett Dr / Ft Campbell Blvd

After these larger areas are restored we will begin working on individual cases. We are aware that there are numerous areas with reports of trees down, wire down, poles broken, and house services damaged. We will make every effort to get to as many of these as possible tonight.

Also, crews are only working storm restoration.  We are not working any regular service orders (such as new house connects/temporaries, etc.).

Land Between the Lakes

At Land Between the Lakes National Recreation maintenance crews have worked through the night to clear roads of debris. Visitors should exercise extreme caution on all roads in the park due to possible flooding and debris. All roads within LBL will potentially have hazards from the Golden Pond Visitor Center South. Park staff urges visitors to be attentive to dangerous conditions and observe closures for their safety. All low lying areas throughout the park should be avoided when possible.

Turkey Bay OHV Area and Energy Dam remain temporarily closed due to the recent large amounts of rainfall.  Due to water over the road, access to Energy Lake Campground is only available via Road 134 from US68/KY80 at this time. The Homeplace and South Welcome Station, located in the southern portion of LBL, will be closed today due to a power outage. Wranglers Campground and Riding Stables will be closed until further notice while crews repair major damage to the area. Road 165 South betweenGoldenPondVisitorCenterand Wranglers Campground is closed indefinitely due to impassable conditions. Currently, there is a low hanging power line across The Trace at the Great Western Furnace.  No high clearance vehicles (RVs, equipment, etc.) will be able to pass. Piney Campground, Energy Lake Campground, and Rushing Creek Campground are without power at this time.

Extreme rainfall over the weekend and more predicted over the next two days, has created the potential for additional flooding and caused the staff at Land Between The Lakes (LBL) National Recreation Area to close or restrict certain facilities, roads, trails, and campsites. Lake levels for Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley are expected to rise due to the flooding on the Ohio River. Visitors should use caution on all roads and lakeside areas in LBL due to possible flooding from extreme rainfall, rising lake levels, and overly saturated soil conditions.

Due to water over the road, access to Energy Lake Campground is only available via Road 134 from US68/KY80 at this time.

Visitors to LBL are encouraged to check the Alerts & Notices page on our website at http://www.lbl.org or to “Call Before You Haul,” 270-924-2000, for current information and details.

Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley

Officials at Kentucky and Barkley dams have reduced summer pool levels to make room for the extra rain this week. The National Weather Service in Paducah predicts the Ohio and Mississippi in our region will reach their highest points May 3.

Long Term Outlook

The long term outlook isn’t good either, the Ohio River isn’t expected to crest until May 3rd and at that point to rival the 1937  flood in some areas.

Road Conditions

The US Weather Service indicates over the next few days a “potential for catastrophic flash flooding” with rain amounts not seen in decades. This creates a number of driving hazards.  Expect flooding in areas that don’t normally flood.  It is important to move to higher ground before the roads you might have to use for that move are blocked by flash flooding.

The greatest potential for loss of life from flash flooding is on the roads. Kentucky Transportation Spokesman Keith Todd says best practice is to turn around, don’t drown. Todd urges area residents to avoid unnecessary travel.  Many of our counties are under flash flood warnings and watches.  Numerous highways, roads, and streets are flooded due to heavy rain over the last couple of days.

Road Closures / Water Over Road Reports: ‪

Ballard County: 

KY 286 closed near the 6 mm at Intersection KY 1345/Myers Road (washed out).

US 51 closed between Wickliffe and US 51 bridge at Cairo, IL

KY 473

KY 1105

Caldwell County: 

KY 128 in Caldwell County is CLOSED due to High water between 6 and 7 mile marker.

Roads open but with high water: KY 126, KY 1592, KY 1627, KY 2066

Calloway County:

None

Carlisle County:

US 62 between 2-5 mm between KY 1181 and KY 408.

Christian County:

KY 117  (due to trees), KY 1338

Crittenden County:

Closed: KY 135, KY 1917, KY 132 (near Webster County line), KY 91 (Ferry)

Daviess County:

Roads closed due to high water: KY 298, KY 762, KY 279, KY 334, KY 1554, KY 2127

Roads open but with high water: KY 279, Ky 554

Fulton County:

KY 1354 (Dorena-Hickman Ferry Closed), KY 2140, KY 1129, KY 94, KY 1907

Graves County:

KY 131, KY 1241 (Bridge Out), KY 450, KY 348

Henderson County:

Roads closed due to high water: US 60, KY 414, KY 136, KY 268, KY 811, KY 812, KY 1299, KY 1557, KY 1574, KY 2247, KY 2248, KY 3522

Roads open but with high water: KY 425, Between US 41 and Parkway, KY 268, KY 416, KY 2183, KY 2260

Hickman County:

KY 239, KY 780, KY 123

Hopkins County:

Roads open but with high water: KY 502, KY 1033

US 62 is closed at the Hopkins-Muhlenberg County Line due to high water. This is at the Pond Creek Bridge at about the 22 mm

Livingston County: 

KY 917 (Tucker Temple Road between KY 93 and KY 866 N or Iuka), KY 133 (Intersection with KY 137 in Berry’s Ferry area), 137, KY 453, KY 70, KY 1433, KY 1608, KY 952 (between Depot Road and Hill Road)

Effective at 7:00 a.m. on Tuesday, April 26, 2011, US 60 will be closed to through traffic in Livingston County. The actual closure point will be at mile point 11.462 to mile point 11.935 in Smithland. Message boards will be placed at the US 60/US 62 intersection in McCracken County and US 60/US 641 intersection in Crittenden County advising motorists that US 60 is closed to all through traffic. Based on the anticipated flood level, this closure will remain in place until flood waters recede.‬ The closure of US 60 starting in the morning is necessary to allow placement of sandbags on the levee in Smithland. Floodwater is anticipated to be over US 60 in multiple locations by the middle of the week.‬

Motorists traveling between Marion and Paducah should self detour via US 641 and Interstate 24 through Eddyville.

Lyon County:

None

Marshall County:

None

McCracken County: 

KY 1954/Husbands Road  near the intersection with Geibe Road at about the 1.5 mm

KY 131/Said Road at 0-1 mm just north of the McCracken-Graves Line

KY 787/Bryant Ford Road at 1-2 mm near the Clarks River

KY 305/Old Cairo Road at mile point 1.336 at the KY 1565 Intersection

KY 1565 at 0 to 1 mm at the KY 305 Intersection

KY 1420/Noble Road at 2-4 mm

KY 1208 Bonds

KY 1255

KY 339

KY 3075

KY 450 (Oaks Road)

KY 284 (Old Benton Road)

McLean County:

Roads closed due to high water: KY 85

Roads open but with high water: KY 56, KY 593

Muhlenberg County:

Roads closed due to high water: KY 175, KY 1379, KY 2590

US 62 is closed at the Hopkins-Muhlenberg County Line due to high water. This is at the Pond Creek Bridge at about the 22 mm

Roads open but with high water: KY 1163

Trigg County:

KY 1507/Barefield Road  1-2 mm

KY 1585

KY 128

Union County:

Roads closed due to high water: US 60, KY 141, KY 1508, KY 360, KY 760, KY 667, KY 668, KY 871, KY 1452, KY 1637, KY 923, KY 130, KY 923, KY 2918

Roads open but with high water: US 60, KY 130, KY 492, KY 1177, KY 360, KY 56

Webster County:

Roads closed due to high water: Ky 132, KY 143, KY 2837

Roads open but with high water: KY 109, KY 132, KY 138, KY 143, KY 270, KY 494

Road Condition Links:

Kentucky: http://511.ky.gov/kyhb/main.jsf or call 511
Kentucky Transportation on FacebookDistrict 1District 2.
Illinois: http://wrc.gettingaroundillinois.com/pages/wrc.htm
Tennessee: http://ww2.tdot.state.tn.us/tsw/smartmap.htm

Other Important links:

Weather safety tips and weather alerts by county can be found on the KYEM website atwww.kyem.ky.gov.

Latest Regional Weather Info: National Weather Service – Paducah
Our Regional Weather Page: http://www.wkms.org/weather.php

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