Sections of River Road underwater, impacting businesses

By Elizabeth Donatelli - bio | email

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - The Ohio River continues to rise and flood warnings remain in effect for Kentuckiana. The river still has more to rise and isn't expected to crest until late Sunday. Metro officials are keeping a close eye on the rising waters, which are causing problems for drivers and businesses as sections of River Road are closed.

"Instead of taking River Road this way I had to go over to Edith and from Edith catch onto whatever road this is," said Marc Cisneros describing his detoured route to work.

Cisneros works at River Metals Recycling, which is just off River Road. He says the high water isn't just a pain, it's impacting business.

"Most people just think that we have high water that we're not open, so you know, they're not taking time to make the phone calls, or if they are they don't want to deal with the detours," said Cisneros.

Deliveries are also slowing down because of detours for neighboring businesses Siskin Steel & Supply, which transports material in three states.

"Just pretend for all intents and purposes that River Road is going to be closed," said MSD Executive Director Bud Schardein. "You won't be able to travel from Prospect to downtown Louisville on it."

Schardein said this to Mayor Greg Fischer in a Friday morning briefing. Other departments in that meeting were Housing and Family Services, LMPD, EMA, and Metro Parks.

As of Friday Schardein is expecting to keep open the ramps on and off I-64 around 3rd Street, which is good news for the thousands of people heading to the K-F-C Yum! Center Saturday to see Lady Gaga.

"Right now it looks like we're going to have full access to downtown except that section of River Road between 3rd and 8th Street going west because that's already below water," said Schardein.

Schardein did emphasize these are just projections, and Mother Nature may have other plans. They are also going to close 2nd Street and Bingham Way Sunday morning as a precaution.

Schardein says the water isn't as high as it was during the '97 flood, but did draw a comparison.

"You can compare the rise as being something very unusual," said Schardein. "Two nights ago it rose almost three feet in about a 16, 17 hour period. It never rose that fast during the '97 flood."

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