FLOYD COUNTY, IN (WAVE) - The Ohio River rises to fill roads around Floyd and Harrison County.
Horseshoe Southern Indiana closed down its hotel Tuesday morning and the casino by Tuesday evening for guest and employee safety. By Wednesday morning, the Indiana Department of Transportation closed down Highway 111 leading up to it.
"We're monitoring the river levels. I was down here earlier and it has risen in the last hour and a half, it's come up some more," said Kent Barrow, Floyd County Emergency Management Director.
The high water is keeping visitors away from the popular casino and some residents are stuck at home.
“We’ve had some people contact us that live on down toward the casino that have stated that they’re thinking about moving out and asking about if there’s shelters available and at this point there’s not, until the need arises that they have to get out,” Barrow said.
Some people are risking driving through the river flooding, trying to drive pickup trucks through the high water. Others are more cautious, finding a dry route and going around for miles.
Up the road in New Albany, the regulars at Daisy's Country Cooking find their way in.
“I mean, I know they’re going through some water and stuff, but they’re getting here. It hasn’t slowed none of them down, that’s for sure,” said Donna Logsdon, Daisy’s Country Cooking.
It’s been a busy morning serving up folks impacted by flooding, including casino workers. Logsdon said many of them coming in for a meal don’t know when or if they’ll get to go home.
“Your heart kind of goes out to them and you automatically want to reach out and help them. So it’s good to get to feed them, you know, give them a good, hot meal and know that their day started out well,” Logsdon said.
Flooding along Highway 111 in Floyd and Harrison Counties created some troubles last year during the flood, embankment slides causing the pavement to fall away or fall down in some places. Repairs were made over the summer to the problematic spots. Once the roadway dries out, INDOT will be able to get in to evaluate the current conditions of the highway.
INDOT is currently developing plans to move Highway 111 in, farther away from the riverbank, according to INDOT spokesperson Harry Maginity. Markers in fields show where INDOT wants the new roadway to go but those sit underwater in some spots.
An archaeological study of the area is currently being done on the area they want to move Highway 111 to, Maginity said. Once a plan for the area has been outlined, it will go out for bid in the summer of 2020 with work to move the highway ready to begin in 2021.
Those plans may help to alleviate flooding and embankment slides in the years to come. For now, all people living near the highway can do is watch and wait for the Ohio to drop.
“They all need a lot of prayer, you know, because you don’t know how long it’s going to be or what the outcome is going to be,” Logsdon said.