Extra MSD crews working around the clock to manage rising floodw - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Extra MSD crews working around the clock to manage rising floodwaters

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- With the Ohio River on the rise, MSD has a big job.

Chief Operations Officer Brian Bingham said 150 extra crew members are working around the clock on flood protection in Louisville. Projections show the river will crest early next week at over 34 feet on the upper gauge and nearly 66 feet on the lower gauge.

"The river comes up fairly slow, maybe a foot or two a day on the upper gauge," Bingham said. "So we can prepare for it, we can put things in place."

Floodwaters have already shut down River Road. MSD said people should expect flood wall road closures over the next week. Right now, 14 of the city's 16 flood pump stations, which are manned 24/7, are running. All 16 pumps are expected to be running by the weekend.

"We close the river off so it can't back up into the city, flooding us," Bingham said. "Now we're pumping the water out of the city so we don't back it up onto people."

Bingham said this flooding event is different than the one in 1997.

"In 1997, there were actually two flooding incidents that occurred," he said. "There was the initial heavy rain in the interior part of the county. and then before it could all drain out of the county, the river came up from the storm moving up through the Ohio Valley, which then created the Ohio River flooding."

Over the last 20 years, MSD has built 1 billion gallons of inland water storage area. Several flood pump stations have also been rebuilt or upgraded.

"We handled it well in '97, and we'll handle it well now," Bingham said.

MSD said this is expected to be the 10th-highest river crest in the city's history.

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