By Portia Williams
FLEMINGSBURG, Ky. — Ensuing thunderstorms for the last two days has left flooding and damage on state highways Tuesday night in northeast Kentucky.
Allen Blair, public information officer for Kentucky Transportation Cabinet(KYTC) District 9, in Flemingsburg, Ky., reported multiple restrictions on state highways by 9 p.m. on Tuesday.
Blair said, the Kentucky Department of Highways District 9 reports the following restrictions:
KY 560 in Fleming County near Ewing is closed near the 0.3 mile marker due to high water.
KY 165 in Fleming County is one lane near Cowan between the 2.3 and 2.7 mile markers due to high water.
KY 597 (Cherry Grove Road) in Fleming County is closed north of the KY 57 Flemingsburg Bypass due to downed trees and power lines.
KY 3303 in Fleming County is closed at Plummers Mill due to high water.
KY 1626 in Carter County is one lane midway between Soldier and US 60 because of a washout around a culvert. The road will be closed Wednesday at that location for repairs.
“For Greenup County people can expect the waters to continue to rise, simply because all of the rain water is now flowing from the Tigris to the Little Sandy, into the Ohio, and in through Greenup County,” Blair said. “And with the Ohio on the rise too, we are expecting to see some back water issues on quite a few state highways. The highways that I have listed are the primary ones near those tributaries that tend to have back water issues as well as flooding.
Motorists should heed high waters, and be conscious of the signs posted in problem areas.
“After the flash flooding in the surrounding counties most of the water streams through Greenup County to the Ohio. So we are constantly watching those, and put up high water signs, and as always, we want to remind people don’t drive through the high water. You never know how deep it is, and it is hard to tell where those lane markings are. Even a few inches of high water can knock your car off the road and cause it to float.”
Rerouting may be necessary in the Portsmouth area near the Carl Perkins Bridge.
Another issue to watch for particularly in the Portsmouth area, is where we have the detour for the Carl Perkins Bridge, where it is being painted. If ODOT closes some of the ramps, in area that many call the ‘spaghetti bowl,’ where all of the ramps over there where 73 and 52, and everything comes together,” he said. “Some of the off and on ramps for those highway connections, can get under water when the Ohio rises and then the Scioto River backs up, what we are using as a detour particularly for trucks, and commercial vehicles to follow 52 over to the 73 junction, and then turn back onto second street, during times of high water and where the Scioto River is up that connection can be closed. If it is closed ODOT will notify, and if it is closed that will affect our detour route for commercial vehicles, and we will resort to US 23 north, and the trucks and cars can then use Washington Street to get back over to Second Street to connect to the other bridge.”
Rivers are expected to continue to rise, and KYTC will continue to adjust signs as changes occur.
“It is expected that the rivers will continue to rise that could change our commercial vehicle detour We anticipate that happening, and if so we will adjust our signage and try to guide the public around, but people should be aware that, that is a possibility.
He said state highway crews have continued to respond to scattered reports of down trees and debris cleanup across the region, especially in Rowan, Carter, Boyd, Greenup, Fleming and surrounding counties. Crews are also monitoring roadways for high water.
Motorists are being advised to take heed to warning signs, and are asked to travel slowly through areas where there is debris. Where crews are also to be aware of areas where crews are working, and should never drive past barricades or through high water. The National Weather Service warns that even a few inches of flood water can float a car – turn around, don’t drown.
He said crews will be performing clean up efforts on roads, and power outages have been restored in areas.
“We will be doing some clean up work today. There could still be some power outage issues, but we don’t deal with the power outage, that is up to the utility companies, but once they get those clear we help to get the roads back open,” he said. “In terms of high water, we anticipate quite a bit of it going down. We just to keep reminding people to be very careful, and to reroute around those areas.”
For more information about District 9 online at http://transportation.ky.gov/district-9. Traffic updates via Twitter at http://twitter.com/KYTCDistrict9 or Facebook at http://facebook.com/KYTCDistrict9. Navigate traffic with KYTC, http://511.ky.gov, and Waze, http://waze.com.
Reach Portia Williams at 740-353-3101, ext.n 1929, or on Twitter @PortiaWillPDT.