Kentucky Emergency Management
LOWER OHIO RIVER TO CONTINUES SLIGHT RISE, CRESTING ON SATURDAY
Frankfort, Ky. (May 6, 2011) - Emergency Management officials report that
because of controlled water releases from some Kentucky lakes, the lower Ohio
River will continue to rise slightly through Saturday. No additional
evacuations are expected at this time; however, officials remind residents to
heed directions if asked to evacuate.
According to river authorities, levels on the lower Ohio River from Smithland
downstream are projected to rise an additional six inches before cresting on
Saturday. The expected rise is due in part from controlled water releases
from Lake Barkley and Kentucky Lake.
Officials in Hickman are optimistic the reinforced levee is capable of
holding back the expected crest of the Mississippi River. Engineers and
emergency response teams are monitoring the Hickman and Smithland levees
around the clock for signs of failure or breach.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced today they have completed their
levee breaches on the west side of the Mississippi River, relieving flooding
on both the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers. To date, approximately 3,800
Kentuckians have evacuated their homes because of flooding.
Gov. Steve Beshear declared a state of emergency on April 25 to allow local
officials immediate access to state resources to assist in public safety and
recovery efforts. He also requested a disaster declaration for Kentucky's
farm families from Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, and directed the
temporary suspension of restrictions on certain motor carriers and utility
vehicles delivering disaster relief supplies. In addition, Gov. Beshear
implemented an executive order to protect consumers from price gouging.
President Obama granted Kentucky a Major Disaster Declaration for Public
Assistance on Wednesday. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
personnel and KYEM personnel are in the process of conducting damage
assessments in the impacted areas. As these joint damage assessments
continue, those who have suffered damage from the floods are reminded to
photograph damages and keep receipts of any repair work done, and to report
all damages to the local emergency director.
The Commonwealth Emergency Operations Center (CEOC) at Boone Center in
Frankfort, KY remains active at Level III in support of the severe weather
response. At Level III, Commonwealth Cabinets offer liaisons to assist in
emergency response and requested assistance.
Kentucky National Guard (KyNG) is working with National Guard Bureau and the
Kentucky Wing of the Civil Air Patrol (CAP) missioning CAP aircraft to
photograph flooded areas for emergency management professionals. These
photos provide important information for search and rescue operations, damage
assessment, and future flooding projections.
KyNG and Kentucky Division of Emergency Management requested activation of
the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) international charter, which utilizes all
satellites during a declared federal disaster. This allows detailed satellite
imagery used in creating maps to show the extent of flooded areas. This data
has also been supplied to FEMA for regional coordination of imagery products.
Approximately 750 people are without power due to the flooding. These are
forced outages related to flooded businesses and residents.
According to the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC), approximately 235
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 www.511.ky.gov or by calling 511. In addition, KYTC has a map on its
website www.transportation.ky.gov indicating road closures.
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
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
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.