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Conversations from the Four Rivers Region

Posts Tagged ‘Ballard county

the morning cram [get out!! edition]

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Occupy LA is no more after police attacked in the night and arrested around 200.

NPR reports around 1400 LA Police officers raided the Occupy LA camp last night, arresting 200 in an overwhelming show of force.

Kentucky~ Ballard County names interim superintendent.  Former KCTC Prez gets a settlement. We’re reaching out to farmers in Benton. KSP wants your food in their car.

Illinois~ A pension bill is on Gov Quinn’s desk.

the morning cram [the anticipation edition]

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America waits in expectation for Obama’s job plan.

NPR reports Americans are skeptical amidst the economic climate and are waiting to see the President’s next move.

Kentucky~ Madisonville officials consider a bump in tax rates. McCracken County is getting a visit from gubernatorial hopefuls, but not Governor Beshear. The parent company of the Wickliffe paper mill files for bankruptcy.

Tennessee~ Clarksville’s Farmers Market named the best in the state.

Illinois~ Governor Quinn considers cuts to the parole system to help balance the state’s budget.

Datebook: August 3 – Jungfrau climbed 200 years ago

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The Jungfrau is one of the main summits in the Bernese Alps, situated between the cantons of Valais and Bern in Switzerland. Together with the Eiger and Mönch, the Jungfrau forms a massive wall overlooking the Bernese Oberland and is considered one of the most emblematic sights of the Swiss Alps. The summit was first reached on August 3, 1811 by the Meyer brothers of Aarau and two chamois hunters from Valais. The ascent followed a long expedition over the glaciers and high passes of the Bernese Alps.

It’s Wednesday, August 3

Saturday brings the “Bomber Back to School Bash” to Ballard County. Along with academic activities, a health and resource fair at Ballard Memorial High School Gym in Barlow goes from 8:30 a.m. to Noon, at which the Purchase District Health Department offers required immunizations for entering 6th graders, and parents and students can meet with post-secondary schools and prospective employers.

Reed Conder Gymnasium at Marshall County High in Draffenville opens its doors at 5 p.m. Saturday for the 37th annual CFSB Watermelon bust featuring two thousand pounds of cold watermelon, kids games and photos with SpongeBob and Elmo. At 5:45 a concert begins featuring three southern gospel groups. It’s all free.

The Hummingbird Festival is back at LBL’s Nature Station this weekend, while migration is at its peak. There are hummingbird programs from 9 to 4 Saturday and 10 to 4 Sunday. There’s a $20 per person Dinner with the Hummingbirds Friday at 6 for which reservations are needed. Call 270-924-2020.

See more activities at wkms.org. Thanks for listening.

West Kentucky Allied Services Accepts Flood Donations

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West Kentucky Allied Services has released the locations of drop-off sites for flood-relief donations.  They are accepting donations of nonperishable food for flood victims in the local area. Food donations can be dropped off at our office locations in Ballard, Calloway, Carlisle, Fulton, Graves, Hickman, Marshall, and McCracken counties. WKAS is working with the Red Cross, Salvation Army, and area churches to distribute the food to those in need. Office hours are Monday-Friday 8am-4:30pm. For more information or if you know someone in need of assistance contact Tony Dowdy at 1-800-294-2731.

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morning cram [anxious egypt edition]

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Political parties in Egypt are frantically trying to organize, register and make themselves known before elections this fall.

NPR reports a short timeline and lawlessness are making some consider postponing the revolution.

KENTUCKY~ Primaries take place today, so go vote! (unless you’re an independent). Your officials say they’re watching out for voter fraud. Paducah is taking down (some of) its floodgatesMore roads are drivable as water levels continue to fall and workers will be inspecting the Smithland Bridge on Thursday (expect delays). A 6-year-old dies in a Carlisle County bus wreck. FEMA officials will kick off a statewide earthquake exercise. Ag officials want you to get rid of standing water because of mosquito concerns. Todd County gets $500k to renovate an Elkton building. Nothing was resolved @ yesterday’s Marathon Oil price gouging hearing. The Commonwealth is pumping out the degrees.

TENNESSEE~ Clarksville Police are investigating a home invasion/homicide and that sinkhole on Cumberland Drive was caused by a busted water main.

morning cram [sleep debt edition]

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Most high school students are chronically tired from juggling school, sports, homework, chores, friends and family.

NPR hears how the typical high school senior gets less than seven hours of sleep on school nights, but they need a great deal more.

KENTUCKY~ The Ohio River Bridge (Wickliffe-Cairo) is back open. McCracken officials will listen tonight to public comments on a proposed coal-2-liquid plant and they voted to fund MSU’s new Paducah campus. MSU loses Head Basketball Coach Billy Kennedy to Texas A&M. An Amish teen drowned in a pond. National Democrats are closely watching Kentucky’s Governor race. Attorney General Conway accuses Marathon Oil of price gouging.

TENNESSEE~ Democrats are renewing efforts to extend the state’s unemployment. A new study finds the state’s schools aren’t producing enough tech grads. Several counties are eligible for disaster unemployment benefits.

OVC BASEBALL~ MSU < MhSU, APSU > SEMO.

morning cram [fixin' leaks edition]

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“Prosecutors are trying to build a case against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, whose website has embarrassed the U.S. government by disclosing sensitive diplomatic and military information.”

NPR reports its part of a bigger campaign to shut down leakers.

KENTUCKY ~ Number of registered voters high, turnout for primary expected to be low. Red Cross gives flood recovery update to Paducah commission. FEMA says OK to start cleanup, but document everything if you want reimbursement. State budget has a surplus, but disaster cleanup will gobble it up. The Commonwealth’s population is ch-ch-ch-changin’ in line with national numbers.

TENNESSEE ~ Bill to restrict teachers’ bargaining rights evolves, advances in the House.

Flood Recovery Efforts in the Four Rivers Region

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

Submit your photos!
We’re gathering a collection of listener-submitted photos of flooding in the Four Rivers Region.  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. Many thanks to the photographers for sharing these photos! View them here.

April/May 2011 Flood Overview:

Normal Ohio River Swelling Expected (May 31, 2011)

Heavy rains to the north over the past several days are affecting levels along the lower Ohio River this week. National Weather Service officials say the waters are expected to go just above flood stage in some places, but the swelling is “nothing out of the ordinary.” River levels at Brookport Dam are just below 38 feet, above the minor flood stage. The Ohio River there is expected to crest in a few more inches by Thursday. At Cairo, levels are expected to breach the Moderate flood stage, cresting Thursday at 47-and-a-half feet. Currently levels are just over a foot below that mark.

State Funds for Flood Recovery (May 30, 2011)

Many area counties are eligible to receive state funds to help pay for clean-up after heavy rains and flooding during the past two months. 26 Kentucky counties will collect up to $30,000 dollars of a total $780,000 dollars in state funds set aside for environmental remediation. The Murray Ledger & Times reports Gov. Steve Beshear made the announcement Friday that grants will assist counties in disposing of solid waste related to flooding.

June 1 is Deadline for Disaster Food Stamps (May 30, 2011)

Wednesday, June 1, is the last day for residents of Dyer, Lake, Obion, and Stewart counties to apply for disaster food stamps. The four were affected by recent flooding. The food stamps have been issued since May 23. The benefits represent up to a one-month allotment and can be used for up to 90 days at any authorized grocery retailer. The food stamps are part of the USDA-approved Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

Disaster Recovery Funds, Kentucky and Tennessee (May 27, 2011)

An amended disaster declaration by President Obama makes 70 Kentucky counties eligible for federal farm service emergency assistance. Loans are available to those who sustained losses from severe storms, tornadoes and flooding since April 22. Applications for physical and production loss loans will extend through January. The newly added counties include all counties in the Purchase and Pennyrile regions.

Tennesseans who register for FEMA assistance can also apply for Small Business Administration recovery loans. Low-interest SBA disaster loans up to $200,000 are available to qualified homeowners to repair or replace damaged real estate. In addition, $40,000 may be available to homeowners and renters to repair or replace damaged personal property. A presidential disaster declaration makes federal funding available to residents of Lake, Obion, and Stewart counties.

Illinois Governor Requests Disaster Status

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn Tuesday, May 24 asked President Obama to declare several southern Illinois counties major disaster areas to help with flood recovery. The list includes Alexander, Gallatin, Hardin, Massac, Pope and Pulaski counties. Damage assessments by the Illinois Emergency Management Agency and FEMA found 109 homes destroyed. About 850 more sustained some kind of damage. More than 600 businesses saw major to moderate damage. If the request gains approval, affected people could apply for grants and low-interest Small Business Administration loans.

Kentucky Disaster Unemployment Assistance

Residents and business owners in several western Kentucky counties who lost livelihood due to severe weather may seek Disaster Unemployment Assistance. The Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet made the announcement today. The assistance is available to residents or businesses from Crittenden, Graves, Hickman, Livingston, Marshall, McCracken, Webster and Union counties affected by severe weather from April 22 through May 20. Farmers and self-employed people who are normally not eligible for unemployment benefits may also qualify. The application deadline is June 24.

For more information about services, visit www.educationcabinet.ky.gov or www.workforce.ky.gov.

FEMA Approves $5m for TN

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has approved over $5 million in aid to Tennessee following severe storms, tornadoes, and flooding over the past month. More than 8,100 Tennesseans have registered with FEMA for disaster assistance. $3.5 million of that aid will be allocated to cover housing assistance, almost $900,000 for disaster-related needs like funeral costs, and over $600,000 for low-interest Small Business Administration loans. FEMA says the payout comes after its agents inspected over 4,400 damaged homes and property statewide.

FEMA and KYEM

Currently, FEMA and KyEM have teamed up to examine damages to both public infrastructure and private residences. To date, the FEMA/state teams have conducted state and local government assessments in 53 Kentucky counties and individual/household assessments in 11 counties. These assessments involve the teams inspecting damaged areas, documenting the damages and meeting with local officials in western Kentucky.

Based on the results of these assessments, FEMA has added 11 Kentucky counties to the recent federal disaster declaration.

FEMA and KYEM are asking all residents with property damage to document the damage with photos, save repair receipts and report any damages to their local county emergency manager. For additional information about the flooding in west Kentucky, please view www.fema.gov and www.kyem.ky.gov.

Disaster Recovery Centers in Tennessee

Disaster Recovery Centers are open in Lake and Obion counties to help individuals and businesses affected by the recent floods, tornadoes and severe storms. The Lake County location is at the National Guard Armory on State Route 21E in Tiptonville, and the Obion County location, at 221 North Broadway in Obion. FEMA and other agency representatives are on-hand to explain disaster assistance programs and help with assistance applications. Federal funding is available to individuals who sustained losses caused by severe weather and flooding beginning April 19. See individual counties below for details.

Public Protection Cabinet

As floodwaters recede in western Kentucky, homeowners are reminded that furnaces, water heaters, electric panels and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) tanks that have been underwater may need to be inspected after repairs are complete.

For a list of certified electrical inspectors, homeowners and business owners can call 502-573-1797. For a list of active electrical inspectors by county, visit http://dhbc.ky.gov/bce/ei.htm. The Department of Housing, Buildings and Construction may be contacted at 502-573-0365 to answer questions relating to permitting, inspection and licensure requirements.

Kentucky National Guard

The Kentucky National Guard is working to wind down operations in western Kentucky. Guardsmen have been helping emergency officials with  tasks like security patrols, evacuation missions, floodwall surveillance, damage assessment, sandbagging operations, and transportation of essential personnel and supplies via high-axle tactical vehicles.

For more flood relief photos and videos visit the Kentucky National Guard Flickr site http://www.flickr.com/photos/kyngpao/sets/72157626591744530/

You can see more at http://kentuckyguard.com. You can also reach them on Facebook at Kentucky National Guard.

Kentucky Transportation

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet has received a number of reports of citizens placing construction debris from flood damaged homes on state right of way. Highway crews cannot pick up construction debris or other storm/flood debris. Construction debris placed along roadways creates a safety hazard for motorists and an obstruction for highway crews. As an agency, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet appreciates the difficulties flood victims are facing right now. However, debris from flood-damaged homes cannot be placed on state right of way.

Highway crews are still making repairs, as well as clearing mud, driftwood, and other debris at some of these locations that are listed open. Motorists should be alert for lane restrictions that will be required as crews go about their work.

For road closures and conditions, please visit www.511.ky.gov, or call 511.

Food Donations

West Kentucky Allied Services, Inc. are accepting donations of nonperishable food to provide relief for flood victims in the local area. Food donations can be dropped off at our office locations in Ballard, Calloway, Carlisle, Fulton, Graves, Hickman, Marshall, and McCracken counties. WKAS is working with the Red Cross, Salvation Army, and area churches to distribute the food to those in need. Office hours are Monday-Friday 8am-4:30pm. For more information or if you know someone in need of assistance contact Tony Dowdy at 1-800-294-2731.

Property Damage

Emergency officials strongly encourage residents who have suffered property damage to notify their local emergency director so those damages can be added to countywide totals. Residents are also encouraged to take photos of damage to homes or businesses because of storms or flooding, and to keep any receipts for repairs. Click here to find your local emergency management director.

Monitor River and Lake Levels

See satellite photos of flooding in the region from NASA.

Please visit http://water.weather.gov/ahps2/index.php?wfo=lmk to monitor river and lake levels throughout Kentucky. You may also sign up for the U.S. Geological Society’s (USGS) Water Alerts, an application that allows you to receive updates at any of the sites where USGS collects real-time water information. Daily or hourly updates are sent via e-mail or text messages when the current conditions meet or surpass a threshold of concern that you determine. Sign up for USGS Water Alert at http://water.usgs.gov/wateralert.

You can also watch KYEM’s severe weather page, visit: http://alerts.weather.gov/cap/ky.php?x=1

Additional information and notices can also be found at www.kyem.ky.gov/aprilsevereweather . There you can also direct link to a new open facebook group where users can join. This is a dedicated social media site offering disaster specific information, links, photos and videos.

Illinois Disaster Loan Program

Southern Illinois residents, businesses and farmers affected by flooding may be able to take advantage of the state’s disaster loan program. State Treasurer Dan Rutherford says loans are available to qualified applicants through the Illinois Disaster Recovery program. The interest on loans obtained through the program is capped at 3%, which are lent through participating banks. Flood victims who expect reimbursement from insurance can take up to a year to pay off the loans. Others have up to five years.

Here’s a helpful link: 10 Important Calls to Make after Flood Damage

West Kentucky Disaster Recovery Fund

Read more about the Fund.

In response to the recent flooding in our area, the Community Foundation of West Kentucky has set up the West Kentucky Disaster Recovery Fund. This unrestricted fund will provide grants to nonprofit agencies, religious organizations and governmental entities that provide long-term disaster recovery assistance to the people of West Kentucky and Massac County, Illinois. 100% of the money received will be used to help our region recover.

To make a donation to the West Kentucky Disaster Recovery Fund, send a check payable to the Community Foundation of West Kentucky, P. O. Box 7901, Paducah, KY 42002. Please note West Kentucky Disaster Recovery Fund in the memo section. The Community Foundation of West Kentucky is a 501(c)(3) organization and donations are fully deductible under the limits of the law.

If you wish to make another type of donation or if you have questions, contact the Community Foundation of West Kentucky at (270) 442-8622 or toll free at (855) 442-8623. Our email address is info@cfwestky.org.

Updates by County:

Ballard County

West Kentucky Allied Services Inc.
Please bring food donations to:
Dianne Scott
1138 Barlow Road
Wickliffe, KY 42087
Phone: (270) 335-5201

Calloway County

West Kentucky Allied Services Inc.
Shirley Jones
607 Poplar Street, Suite C
Murray, KY 42071
Phone: (270) 753-0908

Carlisle County

West Kentucky Allied Services Inc.
Please bring food donations to:
Nicole Jones
300 Front Street
Bardwell, KY 42023
Phone: (270) 628-3941

Dyer County

FEMA Disaster Recovery Center
2700 Lake Road – Suite 33,
Dyersburg, Tenn. 38024

Graves County

West Kentucky Allied Services Inc.
Please bring food donations to:
Clarissa Yarber
1222 West Water Street
Mayfield, KY 42066
Phone: (270) 247-4046

Hickman County

West Kentucky Allied Services Inc.
Please bring food donations to:
Joann Alexander
111 West Clay Street
Clinton, KY 42031
Phone: (270) 653-4494

Lake County

FEMA Disaster Recovery Center
National Guard Armory
2375 State Route 21E
Tiptonville, Tenn. 38079

Livingston County

Many Livingston County residents are assessing damage to their homes as flood waters subside. While residences in Smithland were mostly spared, it’s estimated some 150 homes were damaged throughout the county.

Marshall County

West Kentucky Allied Services Inc.
Please bring food donations to:
Scott Dougherty
1107 Poplar Street
Benton, KY 42025
Phone: (270) 527-9766

or

Special Office
Needline 9am-12pm
307 Main Street
Benton, KY 42025

Individuals wishing to volunteer can call 270-527-3439 and provide coordinators their name, contact information, and specialties. Individuals will be matched to projects as they come into the center.

Massac County, IL – Metropolis

Harrah’s Casino at Metropolis reopened over the weekend for the first time in over a month. The floating casino rests on the Ohio River, where floodwaters claimed much of the hotel’s property.

All residents who have received any type of flood damage to their dwelling must contact the City Clerk’s Office at 524-2711 to report the general type of damage you received. At this time it is not necessary to provide a dollar amount as to the damage, only the general type of damage. For example, you will be asked how deep the water got on your first floor. This information is vital for FEMA to make a Federal disaster determination. This request applies whether you rent or own your property.

Emergency Numbers

The City’s emergency response system is fully operational. The numbers you may use to seek emergency help are as follows:
* Emergency 911
* Police Department (618) 524-2310
* Fire Department (618) 524-2121

Private Clean-Up Contractors

All private clean-up contractors and debris removal contractors must register with the City of Metropolis. Before you hire or contract with a private clean-up contractor or debris removal contractor you should do the following:

* Check with your homeowner’s insurance company to determine if it will pay for your clean-up costs and what it requires you to do.
* Call the City of Metropolis at 524-4016 or 524-2711 to make sure your contractor is registered. Do not hire a contractor who has not registered. A list of registered contractors is posted on the City’s website at www.cityofmetropolis.com and will be updated daily.
* Make sure your contractor provides you with a written price list and a written, signed estimate of what he expects to be your total cost.
* The City of Metropolis does not endorse or recommend any contractor. The City requires each registered contractor to provide key contact information, proof of liability insurance, a written price list stating its labor rates, equipment rates, and charges for supplies. You may review this in the Mayor’s Office at City Hall.

Website

Additional information and updates will be posted on a regular basis on the following websites:
www.cityofmetropolis.com
mmriverport.org

McCracken County – Paducah

Paducah’s LIVE camera snapshots along the Ohio Riverbank

West Kentucky Allied Services Inc.
Please bring food donations to:
Rahshal Jackson
709 South 22nd Street, Apt. 9
Paducah, KY 42003
Phone: (270) 444-7380

Obion County

FEMA Disaster Recovery Center
221 North Broadway
Obion, Tenn.  38240

Shelby County

FEMA Disaster Recovery Center
6465 Mullins Station Road
Memphis, Tenn.  38134

Land Between the Lakes

Camping and lake access opportunities are returning to Land Between The Lakes (LBL) National Recreation Area as flood waters recede.  Visitors can make camping reservations by visiting www.lbl.org or calling 800-525-7077.

Please check the Alerts & Notices page at www.lbl.org for current information, open/closed lists, and details before coming to LBL. Some areas remain barricaded and closed for visitor safety. Observe all closures for your safety. Citations will be issued to anyone found beyond barricaded areas.

Aerial Footage (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 videos below. The first one surveys storm damage, the second surveys flooding.

Click here to see aerial photos.

Safety Tips:

The Kentucky Department for Public Health (DPH) reminds Kentuckians to follow safety guidelines in the wake of severe flooding and water run-off throughout the state. Please exercise caution when returning to flood damaged homes and businesses. For more information about public health issues related to flooding, visit the Health Alerts website www.healthalerts.ky.gov or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website www.bt.cdc.gov/disasters/floods.

For information on public health issues related to flooding, visit: http://www.kyem.ky.gov/concernshomesafetyflooding/

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

Road Conditions:

Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) crews continue to monitor flooded roads and set barricades to close affected roads to motorists. Because of the rapidly changing nature of flooding, road closure information can quickly become outdated. Before traveling to an affected area, check with local authorities. Traffic information for interstates, parkways and major routes is available at 511.ky.gov or by calling 511. In addition, KYTC has a map on its website (www.transportation.ky.gov) indicating road closures.

Road Condition Links:
Click here for a graphical representation of current road closures
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

Kentucky Leaders Respond To Regional Flooding

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Response from Kentucky leaders about flood recovery efforts, moved from the main article.

UPDATED 4:45 PM Thursday - Updates from Gov. Beshear’s Office

From Governor Beshear’s Office May 5:

Governor Steve Beshear announced that much of the lower Ohio River will crest today — two weeks after Kentucky began experiencing a successive system of storms that caused flooding, tornadoes and straight line winds throughout much of the state. The Mississippi River is projected to crest on Saturday.

Gov. Beshear also reminded residents that Kentucky’s flood disaster declaration has been granted by President Obama. Requests for Public Assistance and Hazard Mitigation have been granted. All other requests are currently under review.

“The granting of federal assistance by the president will go a long way toward bringing relief to the citizens of the Commonwealth,” said Gov. Beshear. “The flood waters should begin to recede soon, and our families and businesses have a lot of recovery ahead of them. The federal disaster declaration is an appropriate and timely response to those needs.”

Also today, the Governor added another 16 counties to his original request for disaster assistance for farm families to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. Gov. Beshear had asked for disaster relief for 21 counties related to the storms that have damaged nearly every facet of the state’s agriculture industry.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers expects the Ohio River to crest in Paducah at 55.8 feet today, lower than the record of 60.6 feet set in 1937. The Ohio River will likely crest at 55 feet at the Smithland levee sometime today. The Corps expects the river to hold steady at crest level for about two days before beginning to recede.

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) representatives continue damage assessments throughout the state. The federal teams work alongside representatives from Kentucky Emergency Management (KYEM), small business administration and local emergency management. The joint assessment teams will assess all damages to infrastructure, businesses and homes in each county with a disaster declaration in order to calculate the magnitude of loss. The total assessments will help determine the level of federal disaster relief.

More than 600 Kentucky National Guard troops continue to assist in flood relief efforts in six western Kentucky counties. Missions include security patrols, evacuation support, sandbagging operations, communications and logistics and aviation support.

Approximately 3,800 Kentucky residents have evacuated their homes since flooding began. Four Red Cross shelters housed 38 people last night in three locations; a total of five Red Cross shelters are operating statewide.

Engineers and emergency response teams are monitoring the Hickman and Smithland levees around the clock for signs of failure or breach.

Heavy rains on Monday and Tuesday in the central portion of the state produced one to four inches of rain, adding runoff to regional lakes and tributaries. The additional runoff may cause minor to moderate flooding in the Green River, Licking River, Rolling Fork River and Salt River. No additional evacuations are expected as a result of this recent rainfall.

Historic lake levels have been reported across the Commonwealth, and some controlled releases are underway at Lake Barkley and Kentucky Lake. Water has crested at the spillway at Taylorsville Lake, and provided there are no further storms, the water should begin to recede.

According to the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC), approximately 250 roads are closed affecting more than 50 counties. Because of the rapidly changing nature of flooding, road closure information can quickly become outdated. Before traveling to an affected area, check with local authorities. Traffic information for interstates, parkways and major routes is available at 511.ky.gov or by calling 511. In addition, KYTC has a map on its website (www.transportation.ky.gov) indicating road closures.

Gov. Beshear Requests Additional USDA Disaster Assistance

Gov. Steve Beshear today requested additional counties be included in a request for disaster assistance from Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, as a result of severe storms and flooding that occurred, starting the week of April 17.

“Additional flooding from continued rainfall is severely affecting more counties in our agriculture community,” said Gov. Beshear. “All facets of Kentucky’s agricultural industry have been hard hit, and assistance from the USDA is critical and necessary to offset resulting income losses.”

On April 29, Gov. Beshear requested disaster assistance for 21 counties in western Kentucky. Today, the Governor requested the following 16 counties be added to the request: Anderson, Jefferson, Spencer, Boyle, Logan, Todd Bullitt, Meade, Trigg, Calloway, Mercer, Trimble, Christian, Ohio, Woodford, Franklin

The widespread effect of the flooding is continuing to impact Kentuckians across the Commonwealth as rivers that have not yet crested continue to rise. The Governor’s written request is the necessary first step to initiate the process for a Secretarial Disaster Designation. This designation is necessary for several USDA disaster assistance programs to become available to farmers across the Commonwealth.

Additional counties may be added to the request at a later date if conditions warrant.

Information about USDA Disaster Assistance Programs and the Secretarial Disaster Designation process are available at http://www.fsa.usda.gov by clicking on the Disaster Assistance Program link in the left-hand column.

On Blasting the Levee near Cairo

Illinois Senator Dick Durbin on Levee blast:
Illinois’ senior senator expects Congress will help those affected by the destruction of the Birds Point Levee. U.S. Senator Dick Durbin says lawmakers in Washington will help the farmers and homeowners whose property is damaged or destroyed. “It is a tradition in the Congress that we stand behind those farmers. So they are going to be compensated for the loss of those crops, as they should be. We are not walking away from that responsibility.” Durbin made his comments before the levee was breached, and floodwaters rushed into southeast Missouri late Monday night. The Army Corps of Engineers wrapped up demolition work Tuesday, and experts remain hopeful the action will continue to reduce pressure on levees in Cairo and further upstream.

Statement from Attorney General Jack Conway, Tuesday, May 3: “With so many families in harm’s way due to historic flooding, I support the Army Corps of Engineers decision last night to detonate the Birds Point levee along the Mississippi River in Missouri. Although there is no perfect solution in the face of a disaster such as this, I believe the decision to breach this levee, permitted by the U.S. Supreme Court, will save lives and prevent significant property damage in Kentucky. My thoughts and prayers are now with the many families in Kentucky, Missouri and Illinois whose homes and livelihoods are threatened by rising flood waters.”

Statement from Governor Beshear, Monday, May 2: “I support this evening’s decision by the Army Corps of Engineers regarding the Birds Point levee in Missouri. While this was clearly a difficult decision for the federal government, the protection of lives must come before the protection of property. In addition, with bad weather continuing for the Commonwealth, I hope it will provide Kentucky communities some relief.”

McConnell and Paul support Gov. Beshear’s request for federal aid

U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell and Senator Rand Paul Thursday sent a letter to President Barack Obama expressing their support for Governor Steve Beshear’s request for a federal disaster declaration for Kentucky. “Since April 22, record flooding, high winds, and tornadoes have swept through the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Forty-eight (48) counties and seventeen (17) independent municipalities have requested assistance, as the severe storms caused extensive damage exceeding the ability of the state government and localities to effectively respond and triggering significant economic hardship,” wrote Senators McConnell and Paul. “Timely and serious consideration of the Governor’s disaster declaration request on your part would aid in providing essential services to Kentucky communities so severely affected by this most recent disaster, the ninth major disaster to impact the Commonwealth in three years.”

US Senator Rand Paul issued this statement Wednesday afternoon.

Conway intervenes in flooding lawsuit – April 29 Update

A federal judge in Missouri Friday granted a request from Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway to intervene in a federal lawsuit to help protect parts of Western Kentucky from potentially catastrophic flooding.

In Friday’s ruling, United States District Judge Stephen Limbaugh Jr. also denied a request by Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster for a temporary restraining order to stop the Army Corps of Engineers from detonating a levee on the Mississippi River if flood waters reach 60 feet on the river gauge at Cairo, Ill. “I appreciate Judge Limbaugh’s careful consideration of this matter,” General Conway said. “I intervened in this case to protect residents in Fulton County and other areas of Western Kentucky whose lives could be jeopardized by potentially catastrophic flooding.”

The case stems from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ flood plan that has been in place since 1928 to help protect parts of Kentucky, Tennessee and Illinois from flooding. The plan calls for the Corps to detonate a levee on the Mississippi if flood waters reach 60 feet on the river gauge at Cairo, Ill. The Birds Point – New Madrid Floodway is located along the Mississippi River near the confluence of the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers. The Corps purchased easements to farmland in Missouri, and the water would flood that farmland instead of destroying homes and businesses downstream in Cairo, Ill. and Hickman, Ky.

On Tuesday, April 26, Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster filed a motion in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri to stop the Army Corps from detonating the levee because he said it would flood 100 homes.

The Corps estimates that if the levees are not detonated when the river reaches 60 feet it could cause more than $32 million of damage in Fulton County alone. Additionally, officials estimate that 3.9 feet of water will flow over the top of the floodwall in Hickman – endangering lives and property.

Fulton County Attorney Rick Major has been assisting the Office of the Attorney General with the case.

Congressman Whitfield Tours Damaged Counties

U.S. Congressman Ed Whitfield toured far western Kentucky Wednesday to survey flooding and storm damage. The Congressman hopes to visit twelve counties. Whitfield visited with Murray Mayor Bill Wells this morning, and discussed storm damage, as well as the possibility of federal disaster relief. Governor Steve Beshear is preparing to ask for a presidential disaster declaration. The Congressman says in times like these, it’s important to find out what county and city officials need. “Many of them have difficulties being reimbursed from the state and from FEMA. For there’s some communities who haven’t received all of their money from the Ice Storm, for example.” Whitfield met with emergency managers and judge executives on the Mississippi and Ohio rivers. Major and possibly historic flooding is expected in western Kentucky’s river communities.

Flood Recovery Efforts in the Four Rivers Region

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

UPDATE 10:00 AM Monday – Update to McCracken County – Paducah, Updated Livingston County – Smithland, Updated Road Closures

Submit your photos!

We’re gathering a collection of listener-submitted photos of flooding in the Four Rivers Region.  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. Many thanks to the photographers for sharing these photos!

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

Weather Update

A flood warning remains in effect for most of the region until Tuesday.

Pool levels at Kentucky and Barkley Lakes today were still rising steadily. The pool at Kentucky Lake Sunday morning was 370.6 feet. The pool at Lake Barkley was 370 feet. This is around 11 to 12 feet above the normal summer pool of 359 feet.

Due to forecasted precipitation, Sunday through Tuesday morning, between 1.75 to 4.5 inches, both lakes have slowly started to release again to provide extra storage space in the pool. The releases should minimally affect current forecasted crests on the Ohio River.

Though releases are being made, pool levels will continue to rise into early this week. Record crests will be reached around Tuesday, May 3rd, between 371 to 372 feet.

April 2011 Flood Overview:

Gov. Beshear in Murray speaking with Angela Hatton

On Saturday, April 30, Cairo Mayor Judson Childs ordred a mandatory evacuation. Childs asked all citizens to leave the city by Saturday night. He stressed there was no break in the levee and there were no problems with the earthen levees. The evacuation is in response to predicted rain and sand boils throughout the town.

McConnell and Paul support Gov. Beshear’s request

U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell and Senator Rand Paul Thursday sent a letter to President Barack Obama expressing their support for Governor Steve Beshear’s request for a federal disaster declaration for Kentucky. “Since April 22, record flooding, high winds, and tornadoes have swept through the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Forty-eight (48) counties and seventeen (17) independent municipalities have requested assistance, as the severe storms caused extensive damage exceeding the ability of the state government and localities to effectively respond and triggering significant economic hardship,” wrote Senators McConnell and Paul. “Timely and serious consideration of the Governor’s disaster declaration request on your part would aid in providing essential services to Kentucky communities so severely affected by this most recent disaster, the ninth major disaster to impact the Commonwealth in three years.”

Kentucky’s first storm-related fatality was confirmed Thursday. Mayfield Police Officer Andrew Washington was tragically killed in a weather related vehicle collision on Wednesday afternoon. “My prayers go out to the family and friends of Officer Washington, and I express my sincere appreciation for his service to the Commonwealth,” said Gov. Beshear.

The National Weather Service has revised down flooding predictions on the Ohio River. As of Thursday, the Ohio River will crest  at 52 feet on May 1 in Paducah. This is three feet lower than projected Wednesday. The river at Cairo is  projected to reach 60.5 feet by May 1, a record high level.  In Smithland, water will rise to around 51 feet, and may match the previous record level set in 1937.

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.

Levee in Smithland, Photo by Ky Transportation Cabinet

Reports of road closures due to high water or slides continue to be reported to the Transportation Operations Center (TOC), and crews from the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet are responding. (See Closures Below)

Currently, 61 counties and 21 cities have declared states of disaster: Anderson, Ballard, Bath, Boone, Boyd, Bracken, Breckinridge, Bullitt, Caldwell, Calloway, Campbell, Carlisle, Carroll, Carter, Christian, Clay, Crittenden, Daviess, Elliott, Fleming, Franklin, Fulton, Gallatin, Grant, Graves, Grayson, Green, Hancock, Hardin, Harrison, Henderson, Hickman, Hopkins, Kenton, Lawrence, Lee, Lewis, Livingston, Lyon, Marion, Marshall, Mason, McCracken, McLean, Meade, Menifee, Morgan, Muhlenberg, Nicholas, Ohio, Oldham, Owen, Owsley, Pendleton, Scott, Spencer, Todd, Trigg, Union, Washington and Webster counties. The cities are: Bardwell, Benton, Brandenburg, Cadiz, Calvert City, Carlisle, Carrollton, Cynthiana, Frenchburg, Hardin, Hartford, Hawesville, Hopkinsville, Greensburg, Lawrenceburg, Lewisport, Maysville, Taylorsville, West Liberty, West Point and Wickliffe.

Please visit http://water.weather.gov/ahps2/index.php?wfo=lmk to monitor river and lake levels throughout Kentucky. You may also sign up for United States Geological Society’s (USGS) Water Alerts, an application that allows you to receive updates at any of the sites where USGS collects real-time water information. Daily or hourly updates are sent via e-mail or text messages when the current conditions meet or surpass a threshold of concern that you determine. The site to sign up for USGS Water Alert is http://water.usgs.gov/wateralert.

US Senator Rand Paul issued this statement Wednesday afternoon.

The Kentucky National Guard Efforts – April 29 Update

An aerial view of flooding in the region. Photo by Angela Rowlett

The Kentucky National Guard currently has approximately 128 Guardsmen equipped with tactical vehicles providing civic support to Western Kentucky in response to the flooding along the Ohio River. These Soldiers continue to conduct water barrier and sandbagging operations in Ballard and Livingston Counties as well as law enforcement support in Henderson, Fulton and McCracken Counties.

Operations in Ballard, Henderson, Fulton and McCracken Counties are expected to continue at or near current levels for the next several days.

US Army Corps of Engineers has requested aviation support to engineers assessing the status of USACE dams on 29 Apr 11. 63d Theatre Aviation Brigade has been tasked this mission.

The Commonwealth Emergency Operation Center is staffed at Level 3 0600-2400. The KYNG Joint Operations Center is staffed at Level 2, with augmented staffing and extended hours based on mission requirements. The EOC provides overnight phone coverage and response.

For more flood relief photos and videos visit the Kentucky National Guard Flickr site http://www.flickr.com/photos/kyngpao/sets/72157626591744530/

You can see this story and more at http://kentuckyguard.com. You can also reach them on FaceBook at Kentucky National Guard.

Conway intervenes in flooding lawsuit – April 29 Update

A federal judge in Missouri Friday granted a request from Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway to intervene in a federal lawsuit to help protect parts of Western Kentucky from potentially catastrophic flooding.

In Friday’s ruling, United States District Judge Stephen Limbaugh Jr. also denied a request by Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster for a temporary restraining order to stop the Army Corps of Engineers from detonating a levee on the Mississippi River if flood waters reach 60 feet on the river gauge at Cairo, Ill. “I appreciate Judge Limbaugh’s careful consideration of this matter,” General Conway said. “I intervened in this case to protect residents in Fulton County and other areas of Western Kentucky whose lives could be jeopardized by potentially catastrophic flooding.”

The case stems from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ flood plan that has been in place since 1928 to help protect parts of Kentucky, Tennessee and Illinois from flooding. The plan calls for the Corps to detonate a levee on the Mississippi if flood waters reach 60 feet on the river gauge at Cairo, Ill. The Birds Point – New Madrid Floodway is located along the Mississippi River near the confluence of the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers. The Corps purchased easements to farmland in Missouri, and the water would flood that farmland instead of destroying homes and businesses downstream in Cairo, Ill. and Hickman, Ky.

On Tuesday, April 26, Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster filed a motion in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri to stop the Army Corps from detonating the levee because he said it would flood 100 homes.

The Corps estimates that if the levees are not detonated when the river reaches 60 feet it could cause more than $32 million of damage in Fulton County alone. Additionally, officials estimate that 3.9 feet of water will flow over the top of the floodwall in Hickman – endangering lives and property.

Fulton County Attorney Rick Major has been assisting the Office of the Attorney General with the case.

Congressman Tours Damaged Counties

US Congressman Ed Whitfield speaking with Murray Mayor Bill Wells

U.S. Congressman Ed Whitfield toured far western Kentucky Wednesday to survey flooding and storm damage. The Congressman hopes to visit twelve counties. Whitfield visited with Murray Mayor Bill Wells this morning, and discussed storm damage, as well as the possibility of federal disaster relief. Governor Steve Beshear is preparing to ask for a presidential disaster declaration. The Congressman says in times like these, it’s important to find out what county and city officials need. “Many of them have difficulties being reimbursed from the state and from FEMA. For there’s some communities who haven’t received all of their money from the Ice Storm, for example.” Whitfield met with emergency managers and judge executives on the Mississippi and Ohio rivers. Major and possibly historic flooding is expected in western Kentucky’s river communities.

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 videos below. The first one surveys storm damage, the second surveys flooding.

Click here to see aerial photos.

From Governor Beshear’s Office

Beshear Requests Aid for Farm Families

Gov. Steve Beshear Friday requested on behalf of Kentucky’s farm families a disaster declaration from Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, as a result of severe storms and flooding. “Reports indicate that Kentucky farmers have significant losses of crops and infrastructure, and the conditions have critically impacted spring plantings.” said Gov. Beshear. “The severe storms and flooding have significantly impacted Kentucky’s farms and assistance from the USDA is critical and necessary to offset resulting income losses.”

The following request is due to severe storms and flooding conditions beginning the week of April 17 for the following counties: Ballard, Graves, Marion, Breckinridge, Hancock, Marshall, Caldwell, Henderson, McCracken, Carlisle, McLean, Crittenden, Hopkins, Muhlenberg, Daviess, Livingston, Union, Fulton, Lyon, Webster

The Governor’s written request is the necessary first step to initiate the process for a Secretarial Disaster Designation. This designation is necessary for several USDA disaster assistance programs to become available to farmers across the Commonwealth.

In addition, Gov. Steve Beshear today directed the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet to temporarily suspend certain regulatory restrictions on motor carriers and utility vehicles engaged in Kentucky’s flood relief effort. At the Governor’s direction, Transportation Secretary Mike Hancock Friday issued an order temporarily lifting some restrictions on commercial vehicles delivering food, water, medicine and other critical supplies. The order also applies to vehicles engaged in restoration of public utilities, including waste disposal, and debris removal. This order is effective until May 15.

From the Office of the Governor, issued April 28:

Governor Steve Beshear traveled Thursday to Western Kentucky to personally view storm damages that have been sustained by local cities and communities.  In his travels today, Gov. Beshear visited with emergency management officials in Paducah; viewed buildings damaged by straight-line winds in Murray; helped fill sandbags in Smithland; and surveyed residential flooding near the intersection of the Green and Ohio rivers in Beals.  In addition, he viewed the confluence of the Ohio and Mississippi rivers and the levy protecting Hickman and Fulton counties from the Mississippi River by air.

“Today I have once again seen the damage and destruction that a natural disaster can inflict on Kentucky families,” said Gov. Beshear. “My administration has emergency management officials, members of the National Guard, employees from my office, as well as from a variety of cabinets, out in the field and staffing our Emergency Operations Center in order to ensure that all calls for assistance are met.”

Beshear has requested a presidential disaster declaration. The Governor sent a letter to President Obama in the wake of severe weather and continued flooding in western Kentucky. Under a major disaster declaration, local governments, state agencies, small businesses, certain private non-profits, and individuals could apply for federal assistance for cleanup. Forty-eight counties and 17 cities have declared states of emergency. The Governor is out touring some of the most affected areas in western Kentucky today. Read The Press Release

Beshear says may take a while to assess the total amount of flood damage. After the waters recede, the state should know if the cost meets the threshold for a federal disaster declaration. Beshear says he also anticipates asking for assistance from the U-S Department of agriculture for loss sustained to crop lands. The Governor plans to fly over the state tomorrow to get a firsthand look at the flooding’s impact.

Alexander County, IL – Cairo

On Saturday, Cairo Mayor Judson Childs ordred a mandatory evacuation. Childs asked all citizens to leave the city by Saturday night. He stressed there was no break in the levee and there were no problems with the earthen levees. The evacuation is in response to predicted rain and sand boils throughout the town.

A federal judge has ruled that the Army Corps of Engineers can destroy a levee in Southeast Missouri. State Attorney General Chris Koster filed a lawsuit against the Corps earlier this week to block the levee detonation. But Federal Judge Steven Limbaugh decided in favor of the Corps’ authority. The levee was designed as an “emergency button” that can be used in times of extremely high river levels. Flood levels are reaching 60 feet at the confluence of the Mississippi and Ohio at Cairo, Illinois. Judson Childs is Cairo’s mayor. “There have been lives at stake, and I can say I think the citizens of Cairo will be very proud that he made that decision. It was just the right thing to do.” Childs has twice issued voluntary evacuations this week. The breach will flood 130,000 acres of farmland. An estimated 200 people live in the affected area. The Missouri Attorney General’s office has hinted that it may seek an appeal.

A federal hearing is ongoing as a judge decides whether to allow the US Corps of Engineers to breach a levee in Missouri. The state of Missouri has filed a petition to stop the break, which would potentially contaminate 130-thousand acres of farmland. Officials in Alexander County, Illinois, say releasing the levee would alleviate the record flooding in their county. Hundreds of residents have left Cairo as waters continue to rise on the Ohio and Mississippi rivers.

The river at Cairo is projected to reach 60.5 feet by May 1, a record high level.

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.

Flooding by a house in Wickliffe. Photo by Ronda Gibson

Ballard County

Emergency Manager Jody Brown says volunteers can come fill bags at the Ballard County Career and Technical Center. Additional rain is forecast this weekend. The Ohio and Mississippi rivers are set to crest early next week. To help, call Ballard County Emergency Services at 270-665-5083.

Shelter at Margaret Hank Memorial Church in McCracken County.

Emergency Manager Michael Clarke says several families have 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

See pictures of Murray storm damage from April 25.

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.

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.

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

Fulton County – Hickman

The Fulton County Judge Executive and the Emergency Management Office held a 9:00AM Operations meeting Sunday Morning May 1, 2011. At this meeting it was announced that work continues on the levee as well as monitoring the levee for problems.

The Fulton County Sheriff’s Office and the Hickman Police department urge everyone to stay away from the Sassafras Ridge / Ash Log Rd Area as well as all areas of the levee and flood wall area. Those persons hindering the protection efforts or putting themselves in harm’s way will be cited by law enforcement.

Fulton County Sheriff’s Office urges everyone to exercise extreme caution on Ky Routes 166&125 and Ky Route 94 west. This is due to a large increase in large truck traffic on these roads.

The emergency operation center has been making every effort to contact those people located in the known flood plain areas to make them aware of the current conditions. If you require help with evacuation please contact the emergency operations center at 1-270-236-3480 or 236-2594

The high water is expected to remain for in the area for 6 to 8 weeks.

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. Judge Gallagher and emergency officials are urging residents living in low lying areas to make plans now to evacuate if conditions get worse.

Emergency efforts in Smithland, Kentucky. Photo by James Elder. See more of his photos at wkyflood.blogspot.com

Livingston County – Smithland Updated May 2

Smithland below US-60 and parts of the interior city are under mandatory evacuations. The Paducah National Weather Service has raised the crest predictions for the Ohio River at Smithland to crest at around 58 feet this Friday. Livingston County Emergency Management Director David Koon says the current levee can’t be built up high enough to stop the water. He says the Red Cross in Paducah has opened a shelter for Livingston County residents at Margaret Hanks Memorial Church. Koon says residents should get out soon before water covers roads into McCracken County.

To help with sandbagging and evacuations, call  Livingston County Central Dispatch at 270-928-2196.

Livingston County Schools remain closed until further notice.

Smithland is one of the areas hardest hit flooding. Since Tuesday morning sixty residents have voluntarily evacuated from their homes in response to the flood threat. Emergency personnel are nearing completion of a levee along the riverfront in the city of Smithland.

Lyon County – Eddyville

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.

There is a shelter at Lyon County Senior Citizens Center.

Marshall County

Officials throughout Marshall County are issuing a hazard alert related to the ongoing flood event. Citizens and tourists are encouraged to review the list of hazards below:

1) Electrical lines – be aware that low lying electrical lines may still be energized. Individuals should be alert and refrain from coming into contact with low lying power lines.

2) Flooded roadways – be aware that though the water level seems even when looking out across it the roadway itself may indeed have been washed away. Turn Around – Don’t Drown. Those choosing to drive through flooded roadways will be cited for disregarding a traffic barricade or sign. Those caught removing barricades or signs will be charged with wanton-endangerment. These situations pose great risk to the life of the party choosing to disregard the sign/barricade as well as the responders dispatched to assist.

3) Flood water and recreational boating – those choosing to take advantage of the high water should remain alert. Boaters should understand that flood waters are now taking over local park areas. Hazards include concrete picnic tables and children play equipment. Boaters should remain alert to floating debris.

4) Flood waters – Do not allow children to play in flood water. These waters travel at a very fast pace, are filled with debris, and are extremely dangerous. Drainage culverts may not be visual and are also extremely dangerous.

Residents should move furniture and important documents to higher levels within the home, plan for evacuation, and gather the items they would need to take with them during an evacuation. This will ensure that when it becomes necessary – they will be ready. Residents are encouraged to self evacuate before the flood waters cover their exit routes or reach their home.

Individuals wishing to volunteer can call 270-527-3439 and provide coordinators their name, contact information, and specialties. Individuals will be matched to projects as they come into the center.

Sandbagging in Metropolis. Photo by James Elder. See more of his photos at wkyflood.blogspot.com

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.”  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.

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


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

McCracken County – Paducah Updated May 2

Paducah’s LIVE camera snapshots along the Ohio Riverbank

The National Weather Service River Forecast Center forecasts the Ohio River at Paducah to crest at 58.5 feet on Friday, May 6. As of 10:00 a.m. Monday, the Ohio River at Paducah is at 53.56 feet. The river has risen almost four feet since Friday afternoon.

The City of Paducah is installing six more floodgates, protecting the city from a river stage of 56 feet.

The City Engineering-Public Works Department staff spent this weekend informing some two dozen property owners near Perkins Creek on the west side of Paducah about their risk for flooding from creek. The end of the City’s floodwall system is at 32nd Street. Low-lying areas west of 32nd Street are unprotected, which includes the area north U.S. 60 (Park Avenue), west of Noble Park, and east of Interstate-24. Perkins Creek is expected rise in conjunction with the rise in the Ohio River. To assist those property owners, City personnel held a sandbagging effort Saturday night. If a property owner in this area has questions, please call the Engineering-Public Works Department at 444-8511 during regular business hours.

If you are experiencing a flooding problem and need assistance, please contact the McCracken County Office of Emergency Management at 270-448-1500.

City Engineer-Public Works Director Rick Murphy wants businesses and residents near Cross Creek, Crooked Creek, Perkins Creek, and Island Creek to be aware of the potential for flash flooding. The Paducah area is expecting to receive several rounds of heavy rain and thunderstorms through Monday which could cause flash flooding. Residents and businesses need to be prepared with a flood evacuation plan.

If you are experiencing a flooding problem and need assistance, please contact the McCracken County Office of Emergency Management at 270-448-1500.

Below is some information in response to questions about river stages for the Ohio River at Paducah:

What happens when the Ohio River at Paducah reaches a flood stage of 39 feet? At 39 feet, minor flooding occurs outside the City limits. The minor flooding affects mainly bottomland. At 43 feet, moderate flooding occurs. When the flood stage reaches 52 feet, major flooding occurs.

What would the stage have to be in Paducah for the Ohio River to flow over the floodwall that protects the City? This would be a catastrophic event. The floodwall protects Paducah up to a stage of 64 feet.

What was the highest stage on record for the Ohio River at Paducah? The highest stage recorded in Paducah was 60.6 feet during the 1937 flood. The Paducah floodwall was built in response to the flood between 1939 and 1949.

What are the top five historical crests on record for the Ohio River at Paducah?
1) 60.6 feet (1937)
2) 54.3 feet (1913)
3) 54.3 feet (1884)
4) 53.3 feet (1950)
5) 52.0 feet (1867)

What exactly is a river stage? A river stage is the height of the surface of a river above a locally defined elevation point or datum. The datum could be mean sea level, the normal height of the river, or an arbitrarily chosen point. For example, for the lower part of the Mississippi River, the reference level is sea level (0 feet). Flood stage in New Orleans is 17 feet. However, many other rivers don’t use sea level or elevation as a reference. For the Ohio River at Paducah, the reference datum is 50 feet which is an arbitrarily chosen point not related to sea level or Paducah’s elevation. Paducah is 338 to 340 feet above sea level in much of the downtown area. The reference point of 50 feet lines up with the base of the floodwall in downtown. When the river stage reaches 50, Paducah will already have its many of its floodgates in place. Water will be lapping at the bottom of the floodgate located at the foot of Broadway.

Boaters and Fishermen: For safety concerns, it is recommended that boaters and fishermen stay off the Ohio River.

Greenway Trail: Even though the weather has been fairly dry for a couple of days, the Greenway Trail remains closed until further notice. Parks Services Director Mark Thompson says there are elevated water levels along the trail since the trail runs adjacent to Perkins Creek. Also, the recent heavy rains caused portions of the trail to be washed out. Once the water recedes, crews will bring additional dense graded aggregate to rebuild the trail.

In the event assistance is needed, please contact the McCracken County Office of Emergency Management at 270-448-1500. Red Cross has established an emergency shelter at Margaret Hank Cumberland Presbyterian Church located at 1526 Park Avenue, Paducah.

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.

Floodwall finished in Paducah, Photo by Kempton Baldridge

Photos: The labor-intensive process to install the City of Paducah floodgates is captured in a photo gallery on the City’s website at www.paducahky.gov. Click Gallery of Pictures on the left side of the homepage. There also is a gallery of photos and explanations of the levee and other protective measures being used to protect the Julian Carroll Convention Center and the Expo Center.

Learn about the Floodwall: To learn more about the 12-mile floodwall that protects Paducah, watch Your City at Work: Floodwall. The episode is airing on Government 11, the government access channel for the City of Paducah. A low-resolution version of the episode can be found on the City’s website. The episode initially aired August 2009; however, the information about the history, maintenance, and restoration of the floodwall continues to be relevant. In the episode, Public Information Officer Pam Spencer interviews City Engineer-Public Works Director Rick Murphy and Floodwall Superintendent Kenny Brannon about the floodwall’s construction from 1939 to 1940, floodgate installation, pump stations, and the sliplining process completed in 2010 to restore the pipes passing through the floodwall.

Your City at Work: Floodwall can be viewed on Government Channel 11 Monday at 9:00 p.m.; Wednesday at 9:00 a.m.; Thursday at 4:30 p.m.; and Saturday at 8:30 p.m.

Flood Plain Map: City and County residents interested in knowing the location of the 100 year flood plain as mapped from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) can access the information through the City of Paducah website at www.paducahky.gov. Click on the “Maps” link on the left side of the homepage. Users of this mapping service can search for an address or a road and view the location in relation to the 100 year flood plain. Instructions on how to use the map can be found by clicking the help link at the top right of the map page.

Montgomery County, TN – Clarksville

As of 1:00 PM, Saturday April 30th, we estimate less than 40 customers remain without power. Most of these are individual cases. We have crews designated to three different areas of town; North, South and St. Bethlehem. We expect to have these customers back in service today, unless they have damage to their property that has not been repaired.

Street or road closings, as well as significant damage reported, will be posted to both the city and county websites, and to the county’s Facebook page.

Land Between the Lakes

Tennessee Valley Authority and the Corps of Engineers are predicting unprecedented lake levels for Lake Barkley and Kentucky Lake rapidly rising to 372 feet by May 4 (13 feet over summer pool) and will be held at this level for a couple of days. The current lake levels are 367.4 feet and are predicted to rise to 370.7 feet by Sunday, May 1. These lake levels have caused flooding along all of Land Between The Lakes (LBL) shoreline. As of today, LBL staff closed all boat ramps, and lakeside campsites, trails, and roads. All developed campgrounds will be closed by Sunday, May 1. These areas will be barricaded and closed for safety of all visitors. Citations will be issued to anyone found beyond barricaded areas. Star Camp will be temporarily open for camping.

Do to flooded roads there may temporarily not be access to cemeteries. Wranglers Campground remains closed until further notice due to last week’s storm damage. Turkey Bay Off-Highway Vehicle Area and Trails is closed due to saturated soil conditions and current flooding.

Open LBL day-use facilities include North Welcome Station, Nature Station via Silver Trail Road, Elk & Bison Prairie, Golden Pond Visitor Center and Planetarium, Golden Pond Target Range, The Homeplace, South Bison Range, and South Welcome Station. Activities such as hunting, picnicking, and hiking will be available in limited areas; however, caution should be used due to saturated soil conditions and weather conditions.

Visitors are encouraged to check the Alerts & Notices page at www.lbl.org for current information, closure lists, and details before coming to LBL, due to the recent storm damage and continued flooding.

Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley

Due to rising water on Kentucky Lake power has to be turned off going out to the US 68/KY 80 Eggners Ferry Bridge at Aurora on the Marshall-Trigg County Line. This will shut down navigation lights on the. Bridge. The US Coast Guard has sent out a bulletin alerting tow boats to this outage.

The Tennessee Valley Authority says their decision to reduce water output from Kentucky Dam will increase the region’s river and lake levels. Kentucky Lake is expected to reach up to 368 feet, two feet short of the significant flooding level. Calloway County Emergency Management Director Bill Call says the reduced water output and today’s heavy rains mean additional flooding on the roads is likely. Call says residents living near the rivers and lakes need to be aware of the driving hazards.

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.

Safety Tips

The Kentucky Department for Public Health (DPH) and local health departments across the state are prepared to provide support to response efforts as needed. DPH also reminds Kentuckians that contact with flood waters should be avoided whenever possible, as they may contain contaminants that could pose health hazards. Homeowners whose homes sustained water damage are also urged to follow safety recommendations to limit mold damage and ensure proper food handling and storage. More detailed health and safety guidelines can be found at the Health Alerts website: http://healthalerts.ky.gov.

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.

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.

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

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

Road Conditions

For detailed road closures and conditions, please visit www.511.ky.gov , or call 511.

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: ‪ Read the rest of this entry »

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