Obion flood warning still in effect today
Posted: Thursday, May 6, 2010 9:17 pm
A flood warning remains in effect today for the Obion River near Obion.
The National Weather Service said Wednesday night the river stage was 38.4 feet, with minor flooding occurring and moderate flooding forecast.
Flood stage is 34 feet, according to the NWS, which said the maximum forecast stage is 381/2 feet after midnight today. The river rose above flood stage Monday evening and will continue rising to near 381/2 feet by after midnight.
The local flood warning continues through Sunday morning, when the river is expected to fall below flood stage.
When a flood warning is issued, the NWS advises local residents to closely monitor weather updates. If they suspect flash flooding is about to happen, they should immediately climb to higher ground.
According to the NWS, it does not have to be raining for a flash flood to occur. Some of the most dangerous floods originate many miles away.
Anyone on foot should not attempt to walk through flood waters but should instead turn around and go directly to higher ground. Children and pets, in particular, should be kept away from flood waters, storm drains and sewers.
Motorists are advised to drive away from flooded areas and never to try to take a shortcut through them. If their car stalls, they should immediately abandon the vehicle and climb to higher ground.
If an evacuation is advised, residents should turn off all utilities and lock all windows and doors before leaving their homes. Family emergency supplies should include sleeping bags and extra blankets that can be utilized at shelters, according to the NWS.
No recreational boating
The Tennessee River, Cumberland River, Kentucky Lake and Lake Barkley were closed to recreational boating Wednesday, according to the U.S. Coast Guard in Paducah, Ky.
The U.S. Coast Guard captain of the Port Ohio Valley reduced the safety zone on the Tennessee River Tuesday to the stretch between the Highway 68 bridge through Paducah, including portions of Kentucky Lake. The Cumberland River remains closed in the vicinity of Carthage to Smithland, Ky., including Lake Barkley.
Heavy rain falls over the past weekend throughout the Tennessee Valley necessitated record high water discharge rates from dams along both river systems, creating hazardous river conditions for recreational vessels.
The dangers created by these high discharge rates are many: swift river currents, heavy debris flows, spilled hazardous materials and submerged objects, including break walls, boat docks and piers. These extreme flows have also made the navigation buoys in the area unreliable, the Coast Guard said.
Because of these dangers, all recreational vessels are restricted from operating in these areas — including bays, creeks and tributaries — until the safety zone is lifted. The water levels and river conditions are being evaluated several times daily by local, state and federal agencies.
Anyone found in violation of the safety zones can be fined under U.S. Code 33. The maximum penalty for violating a safety zone is $32,500.
The hazardous conditions are anticipated to exist through Monday, according to the Coast Guard.
In addition, the Dorena (Mo.)-Hickman (Ky.) ferry is closed due to high water on the Mississippi River, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet announced today. Motorists can check on the ferry’s operating status by calling (731) 693-0210.
Published in The Messenger 5.6.10