Business prepares as Ballard County declares state of emergency
By Mason Watkins
WICKLIFFE, Ky -
In our Local 6 area, rising waters are almost reaching the top of levees like in Alexander County, Illinois. Some areas are under a state of emergency such as Ballard County, where water is 11 feet over flood stage
As of Tuesday night, river levels along the Ohio River connecting Cairo, Illinois, and Wickliffe, Kentucky, were less the 2 feet away from reaching major flood stage, which is 53 feet.
The water is starting to engulf ramps like the one used at Economy Boat Store in Wickliffe. Boat dispatcher Coy Dowdy says river water covered it in a matter of hours.
“I got off this morning at 5 o'clock, and we could still use it with our trucks, forklifts,” Dowdy said.
Dowdy says now it is not accessible at all. The ramp helps deliver fuel and other equipment to commercial boats.
“We deliver supplies, groceries, anything that they would need out there,” Dowdy said.
To continue working as the water rises, they've placed a temporary barge to be able to have access to keep delivering supplies.
“What we are needing is out on the river and, as long as the water is coming up, that barge is only going to come in so much,” Dowdy said.
Pictures from 2011 attached in this story show flood waters almost reaching their front door.
The river water flowing from here can travel through creeks reaching to Wickliffe’s city park. Home owners near there say these areas can be prone to flooding.
Ballard County Judge Executive Vickie Viniard says they declared a State of Emergency because of the threat of record flood waters that could impact homeowners.
She says they've been getting calls from people who are nervous about the rising waters. Viniard added that water levels are coming up faster than they thought.
If you live in Ballard County and are worried about flooding, call the county's emergency management director at 270-665-9928. They’re providing sandbags and help to prepare people for possible flood damage. You can also check for updates on their county emergency Facebook page by clicking here.