New Crest Forecast for Ohio River Results in the Closure of Additional Openings in the Floodwall

Date of release: March 1, 2018

Yesterday afternoon, the National Weather Service updated the forecast crest for the Ohio River from 50 feet to 51 feet which is resulting in the closure of additional gate locations in the floodwall.  The latest observed value of the Ohio River at Paducah (as of 8 a.m.) is 50.27 feet. 

The City of Paducah has been closely watching the Ohio River and each forecast issued by the National Weather Service regarding the river stages for the Ohio River at Paducah.  The forecasts are issued usually twice per day, and the forecast crest has increased several times since last week.

On Sunday, February 25, crews from various departments including the Engineering-Public Works, Parks & Recreation, and Fire Departments installed 14 floodgates.  Those gates protect the city to a flood stage of 51 feet.  However, with the new crest increasing to 51 feet and the possibility it could increase again, city crews from the Engineering-Public Works and Parks & Recreation Departments are working today and tomorrow to complete the closing of nine more gate openings as a precaution.  With these closures, the City of Paducah will be protected to an Ohio River stage of 53 feet.

Regarding the Paducah-McCracken County Convention Center complex, the floodgate at 4th Street and Park Avenue will be closed on Friday.  The roadway access to the Convention Centers from Campbell Street will remain open unless there is another significant increase in the forecast crest.

The City expects these 23 gate openings to be closed for several days since the forecast shows the Ohio River at Paducah to reach 51 feet by Sunday morning, March 4 and hold at a high level for more than a week.  The Ohio River should start seeing a significant drop beginning March 12 with the latest forecast showing the Ohio River at Paducah dropping to below flood stage (39 feet) on March 14.

The City’s 12 pump stations are in operation due to the river level. The first pump station began operating when the river reached 27.5 feet.

On Sunday, February 25, the City of Paducah declared a State of Emergency. This action submitted to the State will help the city get reimbursed for costs associated with the floodgate installation and related actions.  Costs that may be reimbursed include overtime for personnel, equipment rental, and the hiring of contractors.

To view the National Weather Service forecast page which is updated hourly regarding the current stage and twice a day for the forecast, visit https://water.weather.gov/ahps2/hydrograph.php?wfo=pah&gage=pahk2.

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