City Installing Floodgates Due to Rising Ohio River

UPDATE (2-26-2018):  As of Monday afternoon, the National Weather Service has increased its forecast crest for the Ohio River at Paducah from 49 feet to 50 feet.  The river will stay at 50 feet for approximately a week before dropping with it hitting 50 feet this Thursday and holding there until the middle of next week.  On Sunday, City crews installed 14 floodgates which means the City is ready for the Ohio River to rise to 51 feet.  If the forecast increases again, the remaining nine gates will be installed.  They can be installed in just a few hours.


UPDATES (2-25-2018): 

  • Please note that Schultz Park and the Riverfront area are closed to the public so that City crews can mobilize personnel and equipment for the floodgate installation. 
  • City Engineer and Public Works Director Rick Murphy says 15 floodgates are going in today (Sunday) and 8 will go in tomorrow (Monday).
  • City of Paducah has declared a state of emergency. This action submitted to the State will help the city get reimbursed for costs associated with the floodgate installation and related actions.

Date of release:  February 25, 2018

The City of Paducah has been closely watching the Ohio River and each forecast issued by the National Weather Service regarding the river stages for the Ohio River at Paducah.  The forecasts are issued twice per day.

The latest forecast issued last night shows that the Ohio River will crest Wednesday morning, February 28 at 49 feet.  However, since the river is rising quicker than the forecast curve and since the river is already higher than 48 feet, the City of Paducah will begin the process of installing the floodgates.

Today, City crews from various departments including the Engineering-Public Works, Parks & Recreation, and Fire Departments are being scheduled and mobilized, equipment will be moved into place, and the clearing of the sill (the bottom) of each gate will begin.  Once the preparations are finished, which will take several hours, crews will then begin the floodgate installation process.

Once crews complete the preparations and equipment is in place, floodgate installation can be completed quickly.  Approximately 20 gates can be installed in 12 hours or less.

The City expects the floodgates to be in place for several days since the latest forecast shows the Ohio River at Paducah to hold above 48 feet until Wednesday, March 7.

The City’s pump stations are in operation due to the river level. The first pump station began operating when the river was at 27.5 feet.

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.  Please note that the current forecast has the river cresting at 49 feet.  The City plans to install the foot of Broadway floodgate and surrounding floodgates as a precaution.

To view the National Weather Service forecast page which is updated hourly regarding the current stage and twice a day for the forecast, visit

City of Paducah is holding a news conference today at 4 pm. 
Here's a link to the live stream. 

Ohio River Flooding 2018

floodgate installation###