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Flood Recovery Updates for 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 7:30 AM Thursday – Added Paducah’s LIVE camera snapshots along the Ohio Riverbank, Hopkins Co Schools (1 hour delay), US-51 may close today, Lyon County’s KY-295 closed.

UPDATE 5:20 PM Wednesday – Some good news added to General Overview, Hopkins Co Schools Closed, Photos added to Flickr Gallery

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/


U.S. Congressman Ed Whitfield visits Murray Mayor Bill Wells during a trip through the region Wednesday.

April 2011 Flood Overview:

Some good news: The National Weather Service has revised down predictions on water levels. Still record flooding in some areas, but the water will likely crest lower and earlier.

US Senator Rand Paul issued this statement Wednesday afternoon.

The National Weather Service has revised down flooding predictions on the Ohio River. As of midday, the Ohio River will crest  at 52 feet on May 1 in Paducah. This is three feet lower than projected yesterday. The river at Cairo is now projected to reach 60.5 feet by May 1, a record high level. The river is up to 58 feet at Cairo now. In Smithland, water will rise to around 51 feet, and may match the previous record level set in 1937.

Some area school systems dismissed early today to avoid the danger of flash flooding along bus routes. Christian County Schools and Montgomery County Schools in Tennessee let out early. Hopkins County Schools and Henry County (TN) Schools canceled all classes today.

Congressman Tours Damaged Counties

U.S. Congressman Ed Whitfield is touring far western Kentucky today 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 meets 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.

So far, Senator Mitch McConnell does not plan to visit any areas in far western Kentucky.

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

On Monday, Gov. Beshear declared a state of emergency to allow local officials immediate access to state resources to assist in public safety and recovery efforts. Since the storms moved in late last week, 25 counties and 11 cities have declared local disasters. Citizens are encouraged to immediately report damages to the local emergency management office and the National Weather Service at 1-877-633-6772.

The Kentucky National Guard has deployed 83 Guardsmen to assist in water barrier and sandbagging efforts in Livingston, Ballard and Henderson counties. More Guardsmen will be deployed as needed. The state’s Emergency Operations Center is activated at Level 3, which means all state Cabinets are represented at the Emergency Management team to assist in resource requests and incident management. Read more.

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.

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.

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)

As of Wednesday morning, the TOC had reports of more than 150 road closures in approximately 50 counties. KYTC engineers will be able to conduct detailed assessments of damages to roads and bridges once flood waters recede, but flooding typically leaves behind buckled or washed-out pavement on roadways and shoulders, embankment failures and eroded road beds. For road closures and conditions, please visit www.511.ky.gov, or call 511.

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.

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

Counties and Cities with Declared States of Emergency

Declared Counties: Ballard, Calloway, Carlisle, Carroll, Carter, Crittenden, Elliott, Fleming, Fulton, Hardin, Henderson, Hickman, Lawrence, Livingston, Marion, Marshall, McCracken, Morgan, Nicholas, Ohio, Spencer, Trigg, Union, Washington and Webster.

Declared Cities: Bardwell, Benton, Brandenburg, Cadiz, Calvert City, Carrollton, Hardin, Hawesville, Mount Vernon, West Liberty and West Point.

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.

WKMS Flyover Western Kentucky April 26. Photo by Angela Rowlett

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.

Ohio River isn’t expected to crest until May 3rd and at that point to rival the 1937  flood in some areas.

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

Kentucky Governor Steve 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.

From the Office of the Governor, issued April 27:

Governor Steve Beshear and Kentucky’s emergency management team continue to closely watch the severe storm system moving across Kentucky today. Weather officials are investigating reports of possible tornadoes and wind damages in several areas across the state. No injuries or fatalities have been reported.

“We have instructed our local officials to begin assessing damages from this storm immediately so that needed assistance can get to citizens,” said Gov. Beshear. “We have been in close contact with the Federal Emergency Management Agency since the system began moving into the state. With the potential for damaging high winds and historic flooding, we want to be as prepared as possible to help Kentuckians recover.”

“I urge Kentuckians to take appropriate precautions as these storms continue to move through the Commonwealth,” said Gov. Beshear. “The state is prepared to assist citizens and their communities for as long as the need is there.”

Alexander County, IL – Cairo

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will wait until this weekend to decide whether to breach the levee. Cairo Mayor Judson Childs has been on the phone to his congressman and senator urging them to support the breach to keep the levee from flooding.

“It’s been rumored that Cairo is a depressed area and it’s not this-and-that, and which, I was highly upset. You don’t say because you’re a depressed area that you don’t count. Where are our people at? I want them to be seen, not only seen but to be heard too.”

In the meantime, Mayor Childs has asked the citizens of Cairo to voluntarily evacuate. So far he says about 300 people roughly a tenth of the population have done so.

As of Wednesday morning, 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.

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.

Flooding by a house in Wickliffe. Photo by Ronda Gibson

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.

Chris Downing – LaCenter FBC Youth will be helping prepare sandbags tonight at 6:30 PM we need all our youth and any adults that can to come help.

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.

The Calloway County Red Cross Shelter: Red Cross Volunteers are still staffing the shelter this afternoon and the shelter is open but on standby with no clients. They will stay open until 7:00 Wednesday night, unless needed. Please have individuals call 270-293-1388 if shelter is needed for this evening.

Calloway County Emergency Management Director Bill Call says the damage from Tuesday morning’s high winds may be cleared from most roads, but recovery work remains.

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

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.

Calloway County Red Cross is operating a shelter at First Baptist Church in Murray. There is capacity for 74 shelterees at that site. The Red Cross is looking for a showering site for Wednesday.

Murray Electric System reports 98 percent restoration of household power with scattered households still without power although all primary circuits are working. 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. Tuesday it was estimated that about 2000 customers of West Kentucky Rural Electric remain without power.

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.

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 has resumed.  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.

Christian County

“Hoptown’s Got Talent” canceled.

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

Fulton County – Hickman

As of this date there are 17 State and local roads closed to traffic in Fulton County. More roads are expected to be closed over the next few days. This list will be updated as closures are made.

The flood wall in Hickman continues to me monitored for seepage and leaks. At this time the Hickman public works and the Army Corp of Engineers are working to install additional timbers in the gate areas to increase the protection.

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 Fulton County Sherriff’s office and the Hickman Police department are asking all residents and sightseers to stay away from the flood wall and levee areas. Those persons hindering the protection efforts or putting themselves in harm’s way and will be cited by law enforcement.

Again everyone is instructed to stay away from all sections of the flood wall and all portions of the levee.

If you would like to volunteer for the flood efforts please contact the Emergency Operations Center at 1-270-236-3480 or 236-2594 Please call before your come.

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. 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.”

Henry County, TN – Paris

Continual rain has prevented utilities from restoring power to many Northwest Tennessee residents. Around five hundred residents in Weakley County remain without power after Tuesday night’s storms. Chief Engineer Ricky Witherspoon says it could be Sunday before they’re back on. Witherspoon says work is moving slowly because they haven’t had any outside help. Twenty-five hundred customers in Henry County and the city of Paris are without electricity. Those will likely be restored by the weekend. This morning more than 1,000 customers in Clarksville were still without power. Other counties report scattered outages, including the city of South Fulton and Stewart County.

Hopkins County

Hopkins County Schools will operate on a one hour delay, Thursday April 28th

Hopkins County Emergency Management Director Frank Wright says reports that a tornado touched down in the county Tuesday night are unfounded. Wright’s crew searched for signs of debris after a funnel cloud allegedly touched down near Morton’s Gap. He says they located no evidence. The National Weather Service is putting evaluations of tornadic activity on hold. Forecaster Deanna Lindstrom says the staff at the NWS office in Paducah typically survey storm damage a few days after an event. She says the repeated storms have kept the staff too busy to go out. The NWS plans to prioritize damaged areas later this week.

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

Livingston County – Smithland

Smithland is one of the areas hardest hit by the storm system moving through our area. 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. Livingston County Emergency Management Director Brett Stringer:

“We’re using a portable levee system brought in by the army corps of engineers from a company down in Nashville that has really expedited the building of the temporary levee. It’s a lot faster than if we were actually having to put sandbags out there, in which we would be having to put about 100,000 sandbags (out).”

Stringer estimates the levee will be complete within the next 60 hours. Evacuation for residents is not currently mandated by any officials. Evacuees without alternative shelter can find rest and food at a Tri-county shelter in Paducah.

As of Wednesday morning, In Smithland, water is expected to rise to around 51 feet, and may match the previous record level set in 1937. The Ohio River is forecast to rise well above the major flood threshold and major damage is expected.

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 recent storms. 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

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.

KY 295/Lake Barkley Drive is closed inLyonCountybetween the 0 and 1 mile marker due to high water.  This is the westernmost end of the KY 295 loop through Old Kuttawa near the west intersection with US 62/US 641. Residents of Old Kuttawa continue to have access via the east end of KY 295.

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.

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

Marshall County

Marshall County residents can now pickup sandbags at the Special Projects Office – 158 Homer Lucas Lane in Draffenville. Residents will have available both filled and empty bags.

City of Benton – Sandbags and Sand available – Bags at Park Maintenance Building (Lean To) and Sand across from Church of Nazarene parking lot. Individuals can pick up the sand bags and fill them all hours at H.H. Lovett Park – 17th & Park Avenue Benton.

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.

Everyone is encouraged to stay alert to changing conditions. City officials greatly appreciate the unity and support coming from the Marshall County community.

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. 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.

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

McCracken County – Paducah

Work 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.

Shelter at Margaret Hank Memorial Church.

Sandbagging Help Needed

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.

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.

In two days, the City of Paducah installed 37 of its 47 floodgates. Wednesday, crews are monitoring the river forecast, pumps, and other flood protection features. City Engineer-Public Works Director Rick Murphy says, “As of 2:00 p.m. today, the City of Paducah is prepared for the current crest of 53 feet that is forecasted by the National Weather Service.” The final floodgates are necessary to close only if the Ohio is projected to crest higher than 53 feet. The current forecast is holding with a crest on the Ohio River at Paducah next Tuesday at 53 feet, which is two feet lower than the crest projected earlier this week. 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.

Paducah Floodwall finished installing. Photo by Kempton Baldridge, Seamen's Church Inst.

Seepage: At the time of this news release, the Ohio River at Paducah is at 50.35 feet. Water is at the bottom of the floodgates in the downtown area, and a minor amount of water is seeping through the gates. Murphy says that water seepage through the floodgates is normal and expected. However, all seepage will be monitored.

Pumps: Murphy says the City has obtained three additional pumps from the Corps of Engineers. Those pumps are being used at the I-24 exit 11 area and on South 4th Street to pump the water from Woodward Hollow back over the floodwall. South 4th Street is closed to traffic.

Wayne Sullivan Drive: Drivers on Wayne Sullivan Drive behind the southside Walmart will notice some water on the roadway. The water is due to the recent heavy rains and the ponding of water on the property adjacent to the road. A day or so of dry weather will greatly decrease the standing water on the road.

Rescue Boats: With the installation of the floodgates, access to the Ohio River is limited. In the case that the Paducah Fire Department would need to launch a rescue boat on the Ohio, Ingram Barge Company is providing access to their launching area at 900 South 3rd Street.

Convention Centers: The work to build a protective levee around the Julian Carroll Convention Center and the Expo Center is in its final stages and will be completed today. A levee was built to protect the facilities using the debris left over from the demolition of the Executive Inn. An additional levee made of bastions was placed on top of the levee. The bastion is a collapsible wire mesh container with a heavy-duty fabric liner. Each four-foot tall bastion is filled with sand. Traditional small sandbags were filled and placed along the back side of the facilities as well. The Convention Centers have flood insurance through a policy held by the City of Paducah.

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.

Web Camera: The public can safely watch the rising Ohio River by viewing the live feed from a web camera linked on the City of Paducah’s website at www.paducahky.gov. Click the Downtown Camera link on the left side of the homepage. The camera is near the Farmers’ Market in downtown Paducah and is turned toward the riverfront looking upstream. Users will be asked to enter the following username and password.

Username: public

Password: public

For the camera to load on your computer or phone, JavaScript must be enabled in your browser. If you are using Internet Explorer, you must install the ActiveX control and/or viewer Add On.

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

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.

Montgomery County, TN – Clarksville

Due to an increased risk of flooding conditions with additional rain this afternoon, the Clarksville-Montgomery County School System will be dismissing one hour early. The severe weather threat has been lessened to slight, but it still exists between 3 and 6 PM. The main reason for this early dismissal is the flooding. Afterschool programs are cancelled for today.

As of 8:00 a.m., an estimated 1,200 CDE customers are without power. There are still numerous small areas reporting trees and wire down. The largest areas remaining without power are Hermitage Estates, Greystone, Craigmont, Cedarcroft, Marion Street and an area between Seven Mile Ferry Road, Cumberland Drive and the Bypass.

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.

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.

Land Between the Lakes

Land Between the Lakes officials warn visitors that water levels on Kentucky and Barkley lakes are rising. This will greatly impact boat ramps, camping, and low-lying areas. Check the Alerts & Notices page on the LBL website or “Call Before You Haul,” 270-924-2000 for more information.

Tennessee Valley Authority and the Corps of Engineers are predicting the lake level for Lake Barkley and Kentucky Lake to rise to 371 feet (12 feet over summer pool). The current lake level is 359.9 feet. This will greatly impact boat ramps, campsites (campgrounds, backcountry areas, and self-service areas), trails, and roads within LBL. Impacted areas will be barricaded and closed.

Visitors to Land Between The Lakes National Recreation Area (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 due to the recent storm damage and the predicted rise in lake levels.

Use caution on all roads and lakeside areas in LBL due to possible flooding from rising lake levels and overly saturated soil conditions. LBL staff warns visitors who use the trails, roads, camping areas, and boat ramps to be extremely cautious and observe all closures for your safety.

In addition, everyone is urged to use caution when crossing creeks, streams, or any areas with standing or flowing water. All low lying areas should be avoided whenever possible. Gravel roads have the potential to washout during these heavy rain events. Please use extreme caution when traveling on LBL’s gravel roads.

Wranglers Campground and Turkey Bay Off-Highway Vehicle Area will remain closed until further notice due to this week’s storm damage.

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

Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley

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. (Also posted in General)

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 51/60 closed between Wickliffe and US 51 bridge at Cairo, IL

KY 473 MP – 20-24

KY 1105 – MP 5-7

KY 121 is closed due to high water near the Carlisle-Ballard County Line. Floodwaters have covered the roadway at several bridges along this 10.5 mile long section of KY 121 between US 62 in Carlisle County and KY 286 at Wickliffe in Ballard County. Water has been rising at approximately 1 inch per hour in this area. This closed section of KY 121 runs from mile point 7.228 in Carlisle County to mile point 8.356 in Ballard County. This includes bridges that cross Wilson Lick Creek Mayfield Creek, Stovall Creek, Shelton Creek, and several drainage ditches.

Caldwell County: 

KY 139 is closed in Caldwell County between the 14 and 15 mile marker due to high water.

KY 128 6-7 mm

KY 2066/Redding Boat Dock Road 0-1 mm

KY 1627 7-8 mm

Calloway County:

None

Carlisle County:

US 62 is closed at mile point 3-5 in Carlisle County due to high water.

KY 1820 – MP 1-6

KY 1628 – MP 0-4

US 51 – MP 7.3-12.5, closed to passenger vehicle traffic.

KY 121 is closed due to high water near the Carlisle-Ballard County Line. Floodwaters have covered the roadway at several bridges along this 10.5 mile long section of KY 121 between US 62 in Carlisle County and KY 286 at Wickliffe in Ballard County. Water has been rising at approximately 1 inch per hour in this area. This closed section of KY 121 runs from mile point 7.228 in Carlisle County to mile point 8.356 in Ballard County.  This includes bridges that cross Wilson Lick Creek Mayfield Creek, Stovall Creek, Shelton Creek, and several drainage ditches.

Christian County:

KY 1338 – MP 3-4

KY 1345 – MP 5-6

Crittenden County:

Closed:

KY 135 – MP 4.4-6

KY 120 – MP 16-17

KY 1917 – MP 1.3-1.6

KY 132 (near Webster County line)

KY 91 (Ferry)

Daviess County:

KY 298 – MP 2-3

KY 762 – MP 0-2

KY 279 – MP 9-13

KY 334 – MP 1-3

KY 554 – MP 7-10

KY 1554 – MP 4-5

KY 2127 – MP 3-7

KY 212 –

Fulton County:

KY 1354 – MP 0-1 (Dorena-Hickman Ferry Closed)

KY 2140 – MP 0-4

KY 1129 – MP 2-4

KY 94 – MP 22-26

KY 1907 – MP 0-2

Graves County:

KY 131 – MP 12.8-14.4

KY 1241 (Bridge Out) – MP 0-1

KY 450 – MP 0-.6

KY 348 – MP 0-1.2

Henderson County:

Roads closed due to high water:

US 60 – MP 19-22, MP 0-3

KY 414 – MP 0-1

KY 136 – MP 0-10

KY 268 – MP 1-8

KY 811 – MP 0-6

KY 812 – MP 2-5

KY 1557 – MP 2-4

KY 1574 – MP 0-3

KY 2247 – MP 0-1

KY 3522 – MP 0-1

Hickman County:

KY 239 – MP 0-3.8

KY 780 – MP 1-3

KY 123 – MP 14-16

Hopkins County:

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

KY 70 – MP 11-12

Livingston County: 

KY 917 (Tucker Temple Road between KY 93 and KY 866 N or Iuka) – MP 4-9

KY 133 (Intersection with KY 137 in Berry’s Ferry area) MP 18-19

KY 137 – MP 0-20

KY 453 – MP 11-15

KY 1436 – MP 0-1

KY 70 – MP 0-13

KY 1433 – MP 4-5

KY 1608 – MP 2-3

KY 952 (between Depot Road and Hill Road)

Lyon County:

KY 295/Lake Barkley Drive is closed in Lyon County between the 0 and 1 mile marker due to high water. This is the westernmost end of the KY 295 loop through Old Kuttawa near the west intersection with US 62/US 641.

Residents of Old Kuttawa continue to have access via the east end of KY 295.

KY 93 is CLOSED in LYON Co. at mile point 10.5 due to damaged caused be additional slippage of a landslide at this site.

KY 1943 – MP 2-3

KY 1113 – MP 0-1

KY 819 – MP 2-3

Marshall County:

KY 1949 – MP 7-9

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 1255 – MP 1-2

KY 339 – MP 0-1

KY 3075 – MP 0-1

KY 450 (Oaks Road)

KY 284 (Old Benton Road)

McLean County:

Roads closed due to high water:

KY 85 – MP 5-8

KY 1155 MP 4-7

Muhlenberg County:

Roads closed due to high water:

KY 175 – MP 24-25

KY 1379 – MP 0-6

KY 2590 – MP 0-3

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

Trigg County:

KY 1507/Barefield Road  1-2 mm

KY 1253 – MP 2-3

KY 128 – MP 0-1

Union County:

Roads closed due to high water:

US 60 – MP 21-26

KY 141 – MP 11-19

KY 1508 – MP 3-6

KY 360 – MP 5-8, MP 9-14

KY 760 – MP 0-3

KY 667 – MP 1-17

KY 668 – MP 0-2

KY 871 – MP 3-6

KY 1452 – MP 0-2

KY 1637 – MP 0-3

KY 923 – MP 2-3

KY 130 – MP 15-17

KY 923 – MP 0-1

KY 2918 – MP 0-1

Webster County:

Roads closed due to high water:

KY 109 – MP 10-12

KY 132 – MP 0-1, MP 3-4, MP 5-6

KY 138 – MP 10-11

KY 143 – MP 4-5

KY 2837 – MP 1-2

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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  1. […] next week. Livingston County Emergency Management … … Read the original post: Flood Recovery Updates for Four Rivers Region « The Front Blog ← Americans Are Preparing for Unprecedented […]


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