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Ohio River rising after heavy rains

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SHAWNEETOWN (WSIL) -- Heavy rain pushed gauges along the Ohio River to near or above flood stage.

"Anything above 46 kicks our flood plan into activation."

The Ohio River is forecast to crest at Shawneetown, near 46 feet next week. This would be high for a typical spring, but Gallatin County EMA Director, Steve Galt, says the community here doesn't see significant impacts until the river starts pushing 50 feet or higher.

"The seeps in Old Shawneetown start and that's kind of the beginning of the sandbagging."

The only road closures that we've had, and it's just partially, parts of the road, was due to this big rain that we had. We had a few sinkholes out on Big Hill Road, north of Old Shawneetown," says Sheriff Shannon Bradley.

Despite the river being higher than usual, most of the flooding has been confined to agricultural land, and roads like El Sasser Road, that farmers are still using as a bypass around town, to get their grain to the elevators.

But as Galt says, more rural and low lying roads will soon join El Sasser Road, and be covered in water.

"46 is above a normal spring flood, so there'll be roads that are flooded at 46 that don't normally flood in the spring. So, if you see water on the road, turn around, don't drown."

Galt says he's optimistic on the river's outlook with little rain in the forecast.

John Ross

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