Paducah city crews are installing the floodgates that protect the city from the rising Ohio River.
City crews from various departments including the Engineering-Public Works, Parks & Recreation, and Fire Departments began installing the gates on Sunday as a precautionary measure after the National Weather Service forecasted the river to crest close to flood stage.
The river is expected to crest Wednesday morning at 49 feet. The City said water is already higher than 48 feet and is rising more quickly than the forecasted curve. At just under 50 feet, the river would begin to flow through the floodwall opening at the foot of Broadway.
Public Information Officer Pam Spenser said the floodgates could take until Tuesday to be fully installed. The City expects the gates to be in place for several days. The Ohio River at Paducah is forecast to hold above 48 feet until March 7.
The City’s pump stations are in operation due to the river level. The first pump station began operating when the river was at 27.5 feet.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers estimates $1.2 billion dollars of City and County assets are protected by Paducah’s floodwall protection system. The floodwall is 14 feet in height.