Paducah-McCracken Riverport Authority continues operation despite high water levels

PADUCAH, KY (KFVS) - With the Ohio River crest up to around 50-feet due to recent weather, the city of Paducah, Kentucky has been preparing the city for potential flooding.

Barge towing and unloading companies are trying to continue business despite the rising water levels while keeping employees safe.

Director of the Paducah-McCracken Riverport Authority Bill Miller said they are getting closer.

"We would guess that we're somewhere in the neighborhood of about another two to three-foot rise would become an issue," Miller said. "All the projections that we're hearing right now, we shouldn't hit that level but it will get close to it. The river in this area has to get to about 52-feet of water before it starts impeding our operations."

Miller said the company is trying to unload precious sand and rocks off barges that can be used as flood prepping materials on dry land.

He said operations are different due to the flooding but not halted, as tugboats are required to stay with barges so there isn't the potential for the barge to be swept away in the river or damage equipment.

Miller said if the water rises just a few more feet, operations could be compromised, but they would mostly shut down as a precaution to keep workers safe.

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