Counties surrounding the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers are facing high flood levels after the region received several inches of rain over the weekend. National Weather Service Hydrologist Mary Lamb said flood levels are reaching about 35 feet in Smithland and as high as 46 feet further west in Cairo, Illinois.
She said along the Ohio River, Smithland, Kentucky reported flood levels at 35.5 feet, with a crest of 39 feet on Thursday evening. Paducah, Kentucky reported levels at 37 feet this morning, but could see crests around 40.5 feet on Thursday night. In Brookport Illinois, they are still expecting a crest of around 43 feet on Friday. And Cairo, Illinois reported levels of 46 feet, and could expect crests as high as 52 feet by Saturday morning.
“Most of the damage that has been reported so far is along smaller rivers in southeast Missouri. Along our bigger rivers there are going to be a lot of impact on our agricultural community, a lot of farmland is going to be flooded.” Lamb said.
Lamb said the rain expected later in the week is going to hit the hardest along and north of the Ohio River. Conditions could be especially dangerous on back roads. The National Weather Service said drivers should never cross a flooded roadway and should instead find another route until the water recedes.