City Closely Watching River Stage Forecast for the Ohio River

Date of release:  February 20, 2020

The City of Paducah is closely watching each forecast issued by the National Weather Service Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service regarding the river stages for the Ohio River at Paducah.  The river stage today at noon was 48.12 feet.  The forecast shows the Ohio River at Paducah to remain at or near this stage for the next several days.

City Engineer Rick Murphy says, “We are on high alert, but at this time, the current river stage does not require the floodgates to be installed.  We are closely watching each forecast.  A river stage forecast showing the Ohio River rising to 49 feet or higher would require the City to move into action and begin gate installation.”

To be proactive and prepared in the event of a change in the forecast, City crews have been working to do the preliminary work that would be required before floodgate installation.  City crews have been removing the plate and cleaning the sill (bottom) of each gate opening between Kentucky Avenue and Harrison Street.  Also, the heavy equipment needed to install each gate has been mobilized.  Once again, there is no need to install the floodgates at this time.

Most of the City’s pump stations already are in operation due to the river level. The first pump station began operating when the river was at 27.5 feet. 

The floodgates were last installed in February 2019.

FAQ—What is the Ohio River stage that would cause water to flow down Broadway if the City didn’t have a floodwall and a floodgate at that location? The answer is 50 feet. When the Ohio River stage is at 50 feet, water would begin to flow through the floodwall opening at the foot of Broadway if no floodgate was installed.

To view the National Weather Service forecast page for the Ohio River at Paducah, visit https://water.weather.gov/ahps2/hydrograph.php?wfo=pah&gage=pahk2.

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