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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

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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 »

Flood Recovery Updates in Four Rivers Region

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

MINOR UPDATE 2:00 AM Sunday– Update to McCracken Co

UPDATE 6:00 PM Saturday – Update to Marshall Co, Update to Alexander Co (CAIRO ORDERS MANDATORY EVACUATION), Update to 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/

April 2011 Flood Overview:

Gov. Beshear in Murray speaking with Angela Hatton

McConnell and Paul support Gov. Beshear’s request

U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell and Senator Rand Paul today 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 tornados 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 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 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.

Current Operations are as follows:

Ongoing Missions – All ground missions are being manned by elements of the 75th Troop Command. The 63rd Theater Aviation Brigade is providing aviation support. Ground Soldiers are deployed to Ballard, Livingston, Fulton, Henderson and McCracken Counties as follows:

a. Ballard County – Twenty-four Soldiers from 2113th Transportation Company continue performing sandbagging operations to protect home sites, conducting around the clock operations in three 8-hour shifts.

b. Henderson County – Fifteen Soldiers from 75th Troop Command are in Henderson, Kentucky to conduct presence patrols in support of local law enforcement. They will conduct operations 1800-0600 daily in support of the Henderson County Sheriff. These unarmed presence patrols are equipped with Sheriff Dept radios. Their mission is to deter looting by their presence and to report any activity to Henderson County Law Enforcement agencies, who will then respond.

c. Fulton County – Twelve Soldiers are conducting roving patrols with humvees in support of local law enforcement to assist in controlling access to flooded roadways leading to the levee system.

d. McCracken County – Eight Soldiers are conducting roving patrols with humvees in support of the McCracken County Sheriff to deter looting and to report suspicious activity to local law enforcement agencies.

e. Fourteen Soldiers 103rd Chemical Battalion have deployed to Owensboro with cargo trucks in order to provide logistics support and transportation support.

f. Livingston County – MISSION COMPLETE. The twenty-four Soldiers from 2113th TC have completed their mission of assisting in the construction of water barriers to protect the city of Smithland. They conducted around the clock operations in three 8-hour shifts.

g. Daviess County- MISSION COMPLETE. The thirty Soldiers from the 206th Engineer Battalion and a sandbagging machine from the Wendell H. Ford Regional Training Center completed sand bagging operations to protect a KEWS facility.

Next 24 hours:

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

2. 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.

3. 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 today 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 gage 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 gage 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.”

Kentucky Governor Steve 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

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.

Alexander County, IL – Cairo

From WPSD – Cairo, Illinois Mayor Judson Childs tells WPSD Local 6 that evacuations are now considered mandatory for the city. Mayor Childs is asking all citizens to leave the city by midnight Saturday night. The mayor stresses there is currently no break in the levee and there are no current problems with the earthen levees. The evacuation is in response to predicted rain and sand boils throughout the town. The city asks that no one panic and to please exit the city in a timely manner by midnight on April 30, 2011.

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

A wrecked car in a Murray neighborhood

See pictures of Murray storm damage.

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.

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.

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.

Clearing out trees in Murray

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.

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 flood wall in Hickman continues to me monitored for seepage and leaks.

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.

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. 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

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.

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

Livingston County Schools remain closed until further notice.

Emergency management teams along the Ohio and Mississippi rivers are filling sandbags and recruiting volunteers ahead of possibly record floods. 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.  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.

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

Marshall County

Marshall County residents in need of filled sandbags may pick those up at 160 Homer Lucas Lane, Draffenville (located near Mike Miller Park) Sunday beginning 7 a.m. until 3:30 p.m. Sandbags will be available at Mike Miller Park, tonight 4/30  up to 10 pm, first drive to the right as you enter the park. Officials may extend hours of operation is demand requires. Citizens are strongly encouraged to prepare now if they have not already done so.  Other tips include:  place important documents such as insurance policies, mortgage, and financial statements in a container and place on top of fridge, raise furniture up off the floor. Officials continue to monitor the situation and are standing by should evacuation assistance become necessary.

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

Paducah’s LIVE camera snapshots along the Ohio Riverbank

With the increase in the forecasted crest for the Ohio River at Paducah from the National Weather Service River Forecast Center, the City of Paducah is working to contact property owners who could be affected by the rise of Perkins Creek. Perkins Creek is on the west side of Paducah outside the area protected by the floodwall. The creek will rise in conjunction with the rise in the Ohio River stage.

The forecast is for the Ohio River at Paducah to crest at 54 feet on Wednesday, May 4. This crest is one foot higher that what has been forecasted for the past few days. As of 8:00 p.m. today, the Ohio River at Paducah is at 50.94 feet which is nearly a foot higher since Friday afternoon.

Engineering-Public Works staff is contacting approximately 24 property owners who have parcels in the area north of U.S. 60 (Park Avenue), west of Noble Park, and east of Interstate-24. To assist those property owners, the City has started a sandbagging effort. Engineering-Public Works staff and Fire Department personnel are building sandbags in the parking lot of Surplus Sales located at 3500 Park Avenue. Crews will start building sandbags this evening and work into the early morning hours. Property owners contacted by the Engineering-Public Works Department can pick up and haul sandbags to their facilities starting at 8:00 a.m. on Sunday, May 1. If a property owner in this area has questions, please call the Engineering-Public Works Department at 444-8511.

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.

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

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.

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

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 this 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.

Use caution on all roads in LBL due to flooding and overly saturated soil conditions. LBL staff asks visitors to 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.

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: ‪

Ballard County: 

KY 286 closed near the 4 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 – 19-23

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: 

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet has restricted EASTBOUND traffic to one lane on the Western Kentucky Parkway near the 16 mile marker in CALDWELL County due to a landslide that has spilled into the shoulder area. Motorists should be alert for slowing and merging traffic as they approach the 16 mile marker eastbound. All eastbound traffic is being moved to the left-hand or passing lane to allow removal of material along the shoulder and right of way. There is a potential for some additional land slippage in this area, so extra caution is required. Motorists should be especially alert for equipment and highway maintenance personnel working in this area. There is also an ongoing work zone on the WK eastbound near the 19 mile marker for work at the site of an earlier landslide. These work zones are expected to remain in place for several weeks as crews remove debris and make appropriate repairs.

KY 2066/Redding Boat Dock Road 0-1 mm

KY 1627 7-8 mm

KY 1592 – MP 2-3

Carlisle County:

KY 1820 – MP 1-6

US 51 – MP 8-12.5, closed to passenger vehicle traffic.

Christian County:

KY 1338 – MP 3-4

KY 345 – MP 5-6, MP 8-9

Crittenden County:

US 60 is closed due to high water at the Crittenden-Union County Line. This is just west of the Tradewater River Bridge between Marion and Sullivan.

US 641 from the south will be the only major highway access into Crittenden County. The closure of US 60 will also limit highway access into southern Union County.

KY 135 – MP 4.4-6

KY 120 – MP 16-17

KY 365 – MP 8-9

KY 1917 – MP 1.3-1.6

KY 132 (near Webster County line)

KY 91 (Ferry)

Daviess County:

US 60 – MP 0-1 Henderson Co. Line. MP 5-7

KY 298 – MP 0-1, MP 2-3

KY 762 – MP 0-2

KY 279 – MP 8-9, MP 9-13

KY 334 – MP 1-2

KY 500 – MP 0-1

KY 554 – MP 7-9

KY 960 – MP 0-2

KY 1554 – MP 2-5

KY 2127 – MP 3-6

Fulton County:

KY 94 is closed in Fulton County between the 13 and 22 mile marker due to water over the road at several locations.  KY 94 is flooded at several locations where is crosses Little Mud Creek, Blue Line Creek and Big Mud Creek between Cayce and Hickman.

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

KY 2140 – MP 0-4

KY 1129 – MP 2-4

KY 1907 – MP 0-2

Graves County:

KY 131 – MP 14-14.4

KY 1241 (Bridge Out) – MP 0-1

KY 450 – MP 0-.6

KY 348 – MP 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 3522 – MP 0-1

Henry County, TN:

Four Roads closed in the county:

* Hill Rd at 2100 block due to sink hole

* Foundry Hill Rd due to utility poles

* Old McKenzie Hwy due to TVA Transmisson Tower leaning

* French Rd

Roads closed Wednesday due to flash flooding have been opened include Gum Springs Rd and Reynoldsburg Rd

Hickman County:

US 51 in HICKMAN County between the 4-5 mile marker in the Bayou De Chien area.

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 293 – MP 2-3

KY 1034 – MP 0-1

KY 1220 – MP 0-3

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 135 – MP 11.5 – 13.6

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

US 60 – MP 11-12

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 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:

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.

KY 1949 – MP 7-9

KY 1462 – MP 0-1

McCracken County: 

-KY 1954/Husbands Road  near the intersection with Geibe Road at about the 2-3 mm

-KY 131/Said Road at 0-2 mm just north of the McCracken-Graves Line

-KY 787/Bryant Ford Road at 0-2 mm near the Clarks River

-KY 305/Old Cairo Road at mm 5-6

-KY 1565 at mm 4-6

-KY 1420/Noble Road at 2-5 mm

-KY 1255 – MP 1-2

-KY 339 – MP 0-1

-KY 3075 – MP 0-1

-KY 450 (Oaks Road)

-KY 2411 – mm 0-1

-KY 284 (Old Benton Road)

McLean County:

KY 85 – MP 5-8

KY 256 – MP 5-9

KY 1155 –  MP 4-7

KY 2385 – MP 2-4

Montgomery County:

City of Clarksville Road Closures – April 28, 2011 – 9 a.m.

Ashbury

Shawnee

Saratoga

Meadow Brook

Spees Drive

Dunbar Cave Road at Dunbar Cave State Park

Tobacco Road between Jack Miller and Hadley

Freestone Drive

Thomas Street

Alfred Thun Road

Professional Park Blvd.

Front Street

Idaho Springs

Montgomery County Road Closures – 9 a.m.

Lock B South Bottoms – including Lock b Road South, Shelton Ferry Rd. and Southside Rd.

Hematite Rd.

Chapel Hill Rd. at Pinnacle Point

Port Royal Lane

Lock C Bottoms – including Lylewood Road, Kirkland Road and Levi Road

Chapel Hill Road – between McClure Road and Lock B Road South

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:

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.

KY 1585 – mm 4-5

KY 1507/Barefield Road  1-2 mm

KY 1253 – MP 2-3

KY 128 – MP 0-1

KY 525 – mm 3-4

Union County:

US 60 is closed due to high water at the Crittenden-Union County Line. This is just west of  the Tradewater River Bridge between Marion and Sullivan. US 641 from the south will be the only major highway access into Crittenden County.

KY 1508 – MP 3-6

KY 360 – MP 5-8, MP 11-13

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 – MP0-1

KY 130 – MP 15-17

KY 2918 – MP 0-1

KY 141 – MP 11-19

Webster County:

Roads closed due to high water:

KY 109 – MP 10-12

KY 120 – MP 0-1

KY 132 – MP 0-1, MP 3-4, MP 5-6

KY 143 – MP 1-2, MP 3-4, MP 6-7

KY 494 – MP 0-1

KY 1525 – MP 0-1

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

Updates on Flood Recovery Efforts 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.

MINOR UPDATE 7:30 PM Thursday – Update to Road Conditions, Update to Montgomery Co

UPDATE 5:10 PM Thursday – Update to Montgomery Co, US Congressman Ed Whitfield sends support letter (read more about this), Added Conway intervenes in flooding lawsuit (section), Updates from Governor’s Office (See Overview, Beshear Section), First casualty reported (See Overview), Updated Road Conditions, US Senators Support Beshear’s Request for Assistance (General)

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/

April 2011 Flood Overview:

Gov. Beshear in Murray speaking with Angela Hatton

McConnell and Paul support Gov. Beshear’s request

U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell and Senator Rand Paul today 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 tornados 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.

Flood conditions along most minor rivers and streams will start falling today over western and central Kentucky following 12 hours of dry weather. Three additional primarily rain-free days are in the forecast for all of Kentucky.

In the wake of severe weather and damaging floods throughout the Commonwealth, particularly in Western Kentucky, Gov. Steve Beshear today requested a major disaster declaration from President Barack Obama.  Gov. Beshear is requesting Individual Assistance, Disaster Unemployment Assistance, Crisis Counseling, Public Assistance, Hazard Mitigation and Small Business Administration disaster loans. “My administration has worked hard to provide assistance to struggling communities around the state during these storms,” said Gov. Beshear.  “If this request is granted, we will receive financial assistance to help them repair and rebuild their communities.”  Under a major disaster declaration, local governments, state agencies, small businesses, certain private non-profits (such as electrical cooperatives and water districts), individuals and households would be able to request financial assistance from the federal government to clean up, repair and replace property destroyed or damaged by the storm.  Read The Press Release

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.

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.

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.

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

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

The Kentucky National Guard continues to assist communities struck by the storms. Currently, KyNG has approximately 125 Guardsmen and 24 tactical vehicles providing civic support to Western Kentucky in response to the flooding along the Ohio River. These soldiers are conducting water barrier and sandbagging operations in Ballard, Daviess, Livingston and Ohio counties, as well as law enforcement support in Fulton and Henderson counties.

Current Operations are as follows:

1. Ongoing Missions–All ground missions are being manned by elements of the 75th Troop Command. They currently have Soldiers deployed in Ballard, Livingston and Daviess Counties as follows:

a. Ballard County–Twenty-four Soldiers and four humvees from 2113th Transportation Company continue performing sand bagging operations to protect home sites, conducting around the clock operations in three 8-hour shifts.

b. Livingston County–Twenty-four Soldiers and four humvees from 2113th TC continue assisting in the construction of water barriers to protect the city of Smithland, conducting around the clock operations in three 8-hour shifts.

c. Daviess County– Thirty Soldiers and five humvees from the 206th Engineer Battalion and a sandbagging machine from the Wendell H. Ford Regional Training Center conducted sand bagging operations to protect a KEWS facility. This mission has been completed.

2. New Missions:

a. Ohio County: Twenty-four Soldiers and four humvees from 75th Troop Command are in Hartford, Kentucky, to conduct sand bagging operations to protect a Kentucky Utility Substation. They will conduct around the clock operations in three 8-hour shifts.

b. Henderson County: Fifteen Soldiers and six humvees from 75th Troop Command are in Henderson, Kentucky to conduct presence patrols in support of local law enforcement. They will conduct operations 1800-0600 daily in support of the Henderson County Sheriff. These unarmed presence patrols are equipped with Sheriff Dept radios. Their mission is to deter looting by their presence and to report any activity to Henderson County Law Enforcement agencies, who will then respond.

Next 24 hours:

a. Operations in Ballard, Henderson, and Livingston Counties are expected to continue at current levels for at least the next 72 hours. The sand-bagging mission in Ohio County should be complete within 48 hours.

b. The Kentucky Guard has been tasked to support to local law enforcement in Fulton County to assist in controlling access to flooded roadways leading to the levee system.

c. The Commonwealth Emergency Operation Center is staffed at Level 3 0600-2400. The KYNG Joint Operations Center (JOC) is staffed at Level 2, with augmented staffing and extended hours based on mission requirements.

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 28

Attorney General Jack Conway intervened today in a federal lawsuit to help protect parts of Western Kentucky from potentially catastrophic flooding. “I intervened in this case because it is potentially a matter of life and death for Kentuckians who live along the river,” General Conway said.

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 gage 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.

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

Today, Attorney General Conway and Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan intervened in the case to protect their residents. “River levels haven’t reached this high in 80 years and the Army Corps estimates that if the levees are not detonated when the river reaches 60 feet it could cause more than $32 million dollars of damage in Fulton County alone,” General Conway said.

If the levy is not detonated, Corps officials estimate that 3.9 feet of water will flow over the top of the floodwall in Hickman – endangering lives and property.

In a sworn affidavit, Fulton County Judge Executive David Gallagher said, “I have know of the Bird Point – New Madrid Floodway all of my adult life. The floodway is common knowledge in Fulton County. People have resided and built homes in Fulton County relying on the existence of this floodway as an alleviation of flooding problems in Fulton County.

Fulton County Attorney Rick Major has been assisting the Office of the Attorney General with the case. The federal judge hearing the case is expected to make a ruling tomorrow.

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

From the Office of the Governor, issued April 28:

Governor Steve Beshear traveled today 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.”

Kentucky Governor Steve 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

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Clearing out trees in Murray

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.

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

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

Carlisle County

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

Bardwell Mayor on Suspected Tornado Damage

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

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

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

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

Fulton County – Hickman

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.”

Graves County – Mayfield

Kentucky’s first storm-related fatality was confirmed today. 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.

Henry County, TN – Paris

BPU still has around 2000 customers without power.

Henry County will continue to be under a FLOOD WARNING for small streams for the next several days.

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.

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.

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

Paducah’s LIVE camera snapshots along the Ohio Riverbank

Paducah has installed 37 of its 47 floodgates. City Engineer-Public Works Director Rick Murphy says Paducah is prepared for the forecast 53-foot Ohio River crest. The city will install the final floodgates only if the crest is projected to go higher. National Weather Service projections were revised yesterday two feet lower than previous estimates. Paducah city spokeswoman Pam Spencer says without a floodwall, Broadway would be three feet underwater when the river crests early next week. We have live webcam views of the Ohio River at Paducah’s riverfront here.

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.

Of some concern to law enforcement, are the areas of McCracken County where residents have had to evacuate their homes and businesses due to flood waters. Some of these residents and business owners have expressed some concern as to the security of their properties. Law enforcement asks persons to stay away from these areas if they have no business there. They are also asking people to respect others private property. This would include boating across other peoples property. Sheriff’s deputies and National Guardsman will be monitoring these areas closely until the flooding subsides.

Floodwall finished in Paducah, Photo by Kempton Baldridge

For most City of Paducah departments and divisions, work schedules are back to normal. Paducah is prepared for the rising Ohio River. Earlier this week, the Parks Maintenance crews were working alongside several other city crews to install floodgates. Today with the floodgates in place, the Parks crews are trying to get a handle on the rapidly growing grassy areas in parks and right-of-ways.

However, for the floodwall division and other divisions of the Engineering-Public Works Department, their work continues as crews monitor forecasts, pumps, and the minor water seepage at the floodgates. All 12 of the City’s pump stations are running and are being manned 24 hours a day. Last night, crews were able to finish the installation of the pumps near Lydon Road adjacent to the Interstate-24 exit 11 interchange. Those pumps are pumping water over the floodwall.

The current forecast for the Ohio River indicates the river cresting at Paducah next Tuesday at 53 feet. Flood stage is 39 feet. The current stage is 50.17 feet with little change from yesterday afternoon’s stage. City Engineer-Public Works Director Rick Murphy says, “Everything is status quo. We have switched from installation mode to observation mode.”

Photos: The labor-intensive process to install the City of Paducah floodgates is captured in a photo gallery on the City’s website at http://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 today at 4:30 p.m. and Saturday at 10:00 p.m. Next week, the episode airs 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.

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

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.

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

As of 6:30 PM, approximately 700 customers are without power. Power has been restored to several addresses on Old Russellville Pike, Ridgeland Dr, Dunbar Cave Road, some areas of Needmore Road, and West Park/Allenwood. Crews are in Cumberland Terrace (near Clarksville Academy), Cumberland Drive, Loupin Drive, Pitty Pat/W Rhett Butler/Melanie (in Plantation Ests). Crews are finding bigger problems as they arrive to new locations. As they get to these new areas they are finding poles broken, bad transformers and more wire down. Officials understand that customers are frustrated. They are doing everything they can to get as many customers back in service as possible. This outage was spread out across the city. CDE covers 100 square miles of service area with nearly 900 miles of line. Also, Customers with medical situations should make necessary arrangements for their needs, as we will not be able to restore power to many individual locations tonight.

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

Despite the recent weather difficulties, the Adventure Tourism event scheduled for Friday at Lake Barkley State Resort Park is on schedule starting at 2:00 pm. Public is invited.

Tennessee Valley Authority and the Corps of Engineers are predicting the lake level for Lake Barkley and Kentucky Lake to rapidly rise to 372 feet by May 2nd (13 feet over summer pool). The current lake level is 363.5 feet and is predicted to rise to 368 feet by Saturday. This will greatly impact LBL’s boat ramps, campsites (campgrounds, backcountry areas, and self-service areas), trails, and roads. Efforts are underway to barricade and close all impacted areas.

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, closure lists, 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.

Check the Alerts & Notices page on the LBL website or “Call Before You Haul,” 270-924-2000 for more information.

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.

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

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet reports 240 total highway closures on 221 routes in 53 counties. For 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: ‪

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 – 19-23

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 2066/Redding Boat Dock Road 0-1 mm

KY 1627 7-8 mm

KY 1592 – MP 2-3

Calloway County:

None

Carlisle County:

KY 1820 – MP 1-6

US 51 – MP 8-12.5, closed to passenger vehicle traffic.

Christian County:

KY 1338 – MP 3-4

KY 345 – MP 5-6, MP 8-9

Crittenden County:

KY 135 – MP 4.4-6

KY 120 – MP 16-17

KY 365 – MP 8-9

KY 1917 – MP 1.3-1.6

KY 132 (near Webster County line)

KY 91 (Ferry)

Daviess County:

US 60 – MP 0-1 Henderson Co. Line. MP 5-7

KY 298 – MP 0-1, MP 2-3

KY 762 – MP 0-2

KY 279 – MP 8-9, MP 9-13

KY 334 – MP 1-2

KY 500 – MP 0-1

KY 554 – MP 7-9

KY 960 – MP 0-2

KY 1554 – MP 2-5

KY 2127 – MP 3-6

Fulton County:

KY 94 is closed in Fulton County between the 13 and 22 mile marker due to water over the road at several locations.  KY 94 is flooded at several locations where is crosses Little Mud Creek, Blue Line Creek and Big Mud Creek between Cayce and Hickman.

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

KY 2140 – MP 0-4

KY 1129 – MP 2-4

KY 1907 – MP 0-2

Graves County:

KY 131 – MP 14-14.4

KY 1241 (Bridge Out) – MP 0-1

KY 450 – MP 0-.6

KY 348 – MP 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 3522 – MP 0-1

Henry County, TN:

Four Roads closed in the county:

* Hill Rd at 2100 block due to sink hole

* Foundry Hill Rd due to utility poles

* Old McKenzie Hwy due to TVA Transmisson Tower leaning

* French Rd

Roads closed Wednesday due to flash flooding have been opened include Gum Springs Rd and Reynoldsburg Rd

Hickman County:

Water has dropped off US 51 in HICKMAN County between the 4-5 mile marker in the Bayou De Chien area. Floodwaters are no longer threatening this section of US 51 in HICKMAN County allowing it to remain open to full traffic flow at this time.

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 293 – MP 2-3

KY 1034 – MP 0-1

KY 1220 – MP 0-3

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

US 60 – MP 11-12

KY 1608 – MP 2-3

KY 952 (between Depot Road and Hill Road)

Lyon County:

KY 1055 in LYON County is closed between the 1 and 2 mile marker due to high water.

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 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 2-3 mm

-KY 131/Said Road at 0-2 mm just north of the McCracken-Graves Line

-KY 787/Bryant Ford Road at 0-2 mm near the Clarks River

-KY 305/Old Cairo Road at mm 5-6

-KY 1565 at mm 4-6

-KY 1420/Noble Road at 2-5 mm

-KY 1255 – MP 1-2

-KY 339 – MP 0-1

-KY 3075 – MP 0-1

-KY 450 (Oaks Road)

-KY 2411 – mm 0-1

-KY 284 (Old Benton Road)

McLean County:

KY 85 – MP 5-8

KY 256 – MP 5-9

KY 1155 –  MP 4-7

KY 2385 – MP 2-4

Montgomery County:

City of Clarksville Road Closures – April 28, 2011 – 9 a.m.

Ashbury

Shawnee

Saratoga

Meadow Brook

Spees Drive

Dunbar Cave Road at Dunbar Cave State Park

Tobacco Road between Jack Miller and Hadley

Freestone Drive

Thomas Street

Alfred Thun Road

Professional Park Blvd.

Front Street

Idaho Springs

Montgomery County Road Closures – 9 a.m.

Lock B South Bottoms – including Lock b Road South, Shelton Ferry Rd. and Southside Rd.

Hematite Rd.

Chapel Hill Rd. at Pinnacle Point

Port Royal Lane

Lock C Bottoms – including Lylewood Road, Kirkland Road and Levi Road

Chapel Hill Road – between McClure Road and Lock B Road South

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 1891 is closed between the 0 and 1 mm due to high water.

KY 1585 – mm 4-5

KY 1507/Barefield Road  1-2 mm

KY 1253 – MP 2-3

KY 128 – MP 0-1

KY 525 – mm 3-4

Union County:

Roads closed due to high water:

KY 1508 – MP 3-6

KY 360 – MP 5-8, MP 11-13

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 – MP0-1

KY 130 – MP 15-17

KY 2918 – MP 0-1

KY 141 – MP 11-19

Webster County:

Roads closed due to high water:

KY 109 – MP 10-12

KY 120 – MP 0-1

KY 132 – MP 0-1, MP 3-4, MP 5-6

KY 143 – MP 1-2, MP 3-4, MP 6-7

KY 494 – MP 0-1

KY 1525 – MP 0-1

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

“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.”

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

Four Rivers Region Emergency Recovery Updates

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

US Rep Ed Whitfield tours the region today.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Submit your photos!

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

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

April 26 Evening Storm Overview:

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

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

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

Wednesday forecast from the National Weather Service in Paducah

April 2011 Flood Overview:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

WKMS Flyover Western Kentucky April 26. Photo by Angela Rowlett

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Click here to see aerial photos.

Weather Conditions Map from the National Weather Service in Paducah

Governor Beshear declares a State of Emergency

From the Office of the Governor, issued April 26:

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

From the Office of the Governor, issued April 25:

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

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

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

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

Ballard County

Shelter at Margaret Hank Memorial Church in McCracken County.

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

Sandbagging Help Needed

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

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

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

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

Calloway County, Murray

A wrecked car in a Murray neighborhood

See pictures of Murray storm damage.

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

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

Calloway County EOC Briefing April 26

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Clearing out trees in Murray

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Carlisle County

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

Bardwell Mayor on Suspected Tornado Damage

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

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

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

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

Fulton County

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

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

Hopkins County

Hopkins Co. Schools (one-hour delay)

Livingston County – Smithland

Shelter at Margaret Hank Memorial Church

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

Sandbagging Help Needed

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

Livingston County Schools remain closed until further notice.

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

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

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

Lyon County – Eddyville

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

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

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

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

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

McCracken County – Paducah

Shelter at Margaret Hank Memorial Church.

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

Sandbagging Help Needed

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Update regarding Quilt Show

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

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

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

Trigg County

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

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

Shelter at Shawnee Community College in Ullin

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

Cairo Residents Begin to Evacuate

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

Illinois Lieutenant Governor Supports Breach

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

Massac County, IL – Metropolis

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

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

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

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

Henry County, TN

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

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

Montgomery County, TN – Clarksville

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Land Between the Lakes

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

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

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

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

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

Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley

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

Long Term Outlook

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

Road Conditions

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

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

Road Closures / Water Over Road Reports: ‪

Ballard County: 

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

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

KY 473

KY 1105

Caldwell County: 

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

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

Calloway County:

None

Carlisle County:

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

Christian County:

KY 117  (due to trees), KY 1338

Crittenden County:

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

Daviess County:

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

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

Fulton County:

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

Graves County:

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

Henderson County:

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

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

Hickman County:

KY 239, KY 780, KY 123

Hopkins County:

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

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

Livingston County: 

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

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

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

Lyon County:

None

Marshall County:

None

McCracken County: 

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

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

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

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

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

KY 1420/Noble Road at 2-4 mm

KY 1208 Bonds

KY 1255

KY 339

KY 3075

KY 450 (Oaks Road)

KY 284 (Old Benton Road)

McLean County:

Roads closed due to high water: KY 85

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

Muhlenberg County:

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

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

Roads open but with high water: KY 1163

Trigg County:

KY 1507/Barefield Road  1-2 mm

KY 1585

KY 128

Union County:

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

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

Webster County:

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

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

Road Condition Links:

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

Other Important links:

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

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