LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- After days of rain and flooding, the only way to reach River Road on Tuesday morning was by boat, and WDRB's Hayden Ristevski and photojournalist Pete Ruiz were able to take a tour.

They traveled down River Road with the Harrods Creek Fire Department.

With River Road swallowed up by flooding, street signs were underwater and cars, businesses and homes had been submerged by an overflowing river.

"I think there's people that maybe didn't realize how high the river was coming, and by the time they saw the forecast, it was a little too late," Assistant Chief Kent Kruer of the Harrod's Creek Fire Department said.

The floodwater covered almost everything in its path. Entire neighborhoods near the river were surrounded by water, making it harder to reach people in the case of an emergency.

"The most concerning thing for us is just being cut off from areas and the access," Kruer said.

Authorities say seeing the flooding up-close can be sobering, especially with knowing a massive cleanup lies ahead. Trash and debris was littered along the waterway, floating up to the surface.

"It's disconcerting, you know, because you don't want to see all the stuff go flush down the river," Kruer said.

As the water levels slowly drop, officials warn it's important to use caution.

"Stay safe," Kruer said. "Be smart. I know a lot of people are eager to get back to their homes, but give the water time to recede."

Until the water levels go down, officials say it's just too hard to tell how serious the damage may be.

Copyright 2018 WDRB Media. All Rights Reserved.