Date of release: February 19, 2019
Earlier today, the National Weather Service Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service updated the forecast crest for the Ohio River at Paducah. The river was set to crest at 47.5 feet; however, the Ohio River at Paducah already has surpassed that stage and is now expected to crest at 49.5 feet on Sunday. This forecast crest increase of two feet has triggered the City of Paducah to commence floodgate installation.
City Engineer-Public Works Director Rick Murphy says, “With a crest forecast of 49.5 feet, I am out of my comfort zone. I want to err on the side of caution and have the floodgates installed just in case the next forecast yields another bump in the crest.”
Today, City departments met to discuss floodgate assignments since several departments join together to install the gates. Also today, crews are preparing the gate openings by removing the bottom plates and cleaning the sills of any debris. Gate installation will begin tomorrow. Once equipment is mobilized and each gate opening is cleaned and prepped, the gate installation process for 24 locations takes approximately 12 hours.
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 2018.
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.