The high water level of the Ohio River has the Owensboro-Daviess County region under a flood warning until Friday, Feb. 22. Many roads are closed and the county is handing out sandbags on Saturday morning.
The Ohio River in Owensboro is in a prolonged ‘minor flood’ stage caused by excessive rain, with the flood warning in effect due to the on-and-off small amounts of rain, snow and sleet predicted to last through the weekend.
Daviess County Emergency Management Director Andy Ball says this is not a flash flood situation like the one that put much of the Owensboro riverwalk and many roads and acres of farmland under water last February.
Ball said this is more of a lingering and manageable situation, based on information from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA, and the National Weather Service
"For the Ohio River, we’re currently at crest level, according to the Ohio River at Owensboro NOAA gauge. That level is 43.3 foot. We’re not expecting to get much above that," said Ball. "Just to give you a comparison, it rose to 47.3 foot last February when we had that large event.”
Ball says 30 state and county roads are currently closed more may be added, depending on precipitation.
Daviess County residents can get up to 50 sandbags, empty or filled, at no cost, to protect their property.
“Fifty won’t build you a dam or a levee around your entire house," said Ball. "The point of that is to put it around doors to protect the water from going inside the facility. Or if you have an AC unit that’s ground level, putting ‘em around your AC to keep water from getting into your AC unit.”
The sandbags will be available Saturday, Feb. 16 from 8 a.m. to noon at the Daviess County Public Works complex at 2620 Kentucky Route 81.