MSD, Floyd EMA: Flood risk eases if heavy rain doesn't fall all - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

MSD, Floyd EMA: Flood risk eases if heavy rain doesn't fall all at once

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Flood prevention and control mean more crews will work Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Flood prevention and control mean more crews will work Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
Ambrose's home sits atop two stories of concrete. Ambrose's home sits atop two stories of concrete.
Kris Ambrose Kris Ambrose

NEW ALBANY, IN (WAVE)Louisville's Metropolitan Sewer District and emergency management workers believe heavy rain predicted for this weekend will pose a lower risk for flooding than October's storms. But prevention and control mean more crews will work Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

Living alongside the Ohio River for 21 years, means school bus driver Kris Ambrose lives by the numbers.

"If it's gonna be above 52 feet, it's gonna be in the back-yard," she said of her Floyd County home.

That is what happened in 1997, which is why her second house sits atop two stories of concrete one foot thick.

"With this rainfall coming through this weekend, our River's probably gonna be at flood stage," Floyd County Emergency Management Director Terry Herthel said Friday.

Ambrose's home, located off Highway 111 near Horseshoe-Southern Indiana Casino, is the area that Herthel believes is most at risk.

"The ground is saturated, but the four-to-five inches is supposed to be spread out all weekend," he said. "You'll see crews out from 5 a.m. Saturday to 10 a.m. Sunday, cleaning your storm drains and catch basins and all that. Making sure that they're all clear."

Crews are going through all those familiar paces for Louisville's Metropolitan Sewer District too, according to Emergency Operations Director Dennis Thomasson.

"There is limited capacity in our system," Thomasson said. "And no doubt, we'll have some overflows.

When nature is not the cause for overflows MSD could face federal fines, but the Environmental Protection Agency makes allowances for weather, MSD spokesman Steve Tedder said.

"Rainfall rate and saturation has a huge impact on how quickly our systems respond," Thomasson explained.

So much for holiday celebrations.

"We will have probably 40 to 50 employees working Christmas Eve and Christmas Day to protect us from the River," Thomasson said.

Ambrose is staying put.

"We move out if (the Ohio River) goes to 58 feet," she said.

But when you drive a school bus for a living, you keep it ready to roll.

"If you know what you're looking at, the river won't really bother you," Ambrose said. "As long as you use, common sense."

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