Lyon Co. officials monitoring flood with smart phones


Reporter - Lauren Adams
Photojournalist - David Dycus

LYON COUNTY, Ky. - County Road Foreman Tommy Melton was on the back roads of the county back in 2011. 

He remembers waters, which eventually reached a record 372 feet, rising by the hour.

He spent much of those days trying to call the Army Corps of Engineers, "Sometimes, you would hear back.  Sometimes, it would take a day or two before you got an answer back."

It's why Melton, a 15 year veteran of the department, hit the road.

"I would have to check these roads 4-5 times a day, just to see where the water level was," he remembered of roads like Old Kuttawa, Ralph Beaty, and Eddy Creek.

On Monday, levels were once again up on those same roads.  The lake was recorded at 363.8 that afternoon.

But Melton says this time things are different.  He is using a cell phone app to monitor flood waters.

The county's Emergency Management Director, Eric Nelson, is also using the technology for hourly updates.  He says it is better preparing, not just crews, but homeowners.

"We're able to stay ahead of the game, we know where the lake is and how much is being discharged," he explained.

"It gives you a little heads up," Melton added.

"That's the best tool there is," he continued.

On Monday, there was anywhere from 1-4 feet of water covering secondary roads. By the week's end, crews are bracing for another two feet.

Melton says if water sits on roads for longer than a week the roads will have to be repaired, repaved, or rebuilt.