Floodgates Installed along Paducah's Riverfront
By WestKyStar & City of Paducah Staff
PADUCAH - Floodgates are in along Paducah's downtown and riverfront after crews worked through the day on Tuesday. 

After the National Weather Service Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service updated the forecast crest for the Ohio River at Paducah on Monday, crews began preparing the gate openings by removing the bottom plates and cleaning the sills of any debris. Tuesday morning, gate installation began and work to close specific openings was complete by sundown. It was an all hands on deck day for the city crews. 

The river was set to crest at 47.5 feet; however, the Ohio River at Paducah already has surpassed that stage and is now expected to crest at 49.5 feet by Sunday.  

City Engineer-Public Works Director Rick Murphy said, “With a crest forecast of 49.5 feet, I am out of my comfort zone.  I want to err on the side of caution and have the floodgates installed just in case the next forecast yields another bump in the crest.”

Moderate to heavy rainfall - possibly 2-3 inches -  is in the forecast for Tuesday night through Wednesday, with another round of rain possible late in the week. All of this falls on saturated ground and will drain into swollen tributaries before it reaches rivers already in flood stage.

Most of the city’s pump stations already are in operation due to the river level. The first pump station began operating when the river was at 27.5 feet.  The floodgates were last installed in February 2018.

FAQ—What is the Ohio River stage that would cause water to flow down Broadway if the City didn’t have a floodwall and a floodgate at that location? The answer is 50 feet. When the Ohio River stage is at 50 feet, water would begin to flow through the floodwall opening at the foot of Broadway if no floodgate was installed. 

To view the National Weather Service forecast page for the Ohio River at Paducah, visit

On the Net:

National Weather Service Forecast for Ohio River at Paducah

Published 06:06 PM, Tuesday Feb. 19, 2019
Updated 08:23 PM, Thursday Feb. 21, 2019

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