Residents evacuate in advance of possible Ohio river flooding

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - The recent rains have moved on, but the Metro Sewer District says the Ohio river is slowly rising.

That's got some residents living along the river taking precautions ahead of possible flooding.

WAVE 3 caught up with people who live along the river who say they aren't taking any chances with the rising waters.

Charlie Waugh, 53, of Louisville has lived along the Ohio river, in Juniper Beach for 9 years.

"We have something that's beautiful here. To be able to live up and down this river see all the boats, the great sunrises and sunsets and the moon over 6 mile. I mean, it's just beautiful." Waugh said Sunday morning.

The beauty of the river was turning ugly Sunday, as the water slowly rose.

"It is a sacrifice, but it's worth it," Waugh said as he stood in shin deep water that surrounded his riverside home.

Waugh is packing up and wading through the water. He was taking whatever he and his family could, ahead of potential flooding. By Sunday morning, there was already more than a foot of water inside his home.

"The river is the river," Waugh lamented "It comes up, it goes down, it's just part of being a river rat, living on the river. You know every so often, every few years, you're going to get a good flood like this," He said.

Next door, and 50 feet up, in the Juniper Villa condos, Porter Watkins and her husband George Bailey are taking no chances as the water lapped at their driveway. They too have chosen to leave.

"so we won't get stuck. so we won't be flooded in, in effect," Watkins said "Because once the floodwater comes up, and it's really flooding, you have to wait till the river decides to go down or you cannot leave. you're stuck in your condo."

Metro Sewer District Executive Director, Bud Schardein, says they're being vigilant; watching the Ohio river. MSD has 5 of 11 pumping stations in operation.

"The thing that we're looking at right now is the rain that we had yesterday [Saturday]." Schardein said "As it moved up stream, it went all the way up to Pittsburgh and western New York and it has to come back down. And there's more heavy rain in the forecast, I believe for Tuesday." He said

MSD says they have street closures at 10th and 27th streets and they aren't planning for any more street closures.

The river would have to rise higher than projected to bring more pumping stations online.

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