LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - The Ohio River reached its tenth highest crest on record at a little over thirty-five and a half feet on February 26, 2018. Although the river is not nearly that high this go round, it’s still impacting people along the river.
Captain Joe Frith is a Louisville native and lives in his boat on Harrod’s Creek.
“This right here when it comes up and floods like this, it’s tragic to the places the water gets into; buildings, the restaurants along the river and the creeks,” said Frith.
He said the current flooding has made it a nuisance to get to his home.
“We’ve got canoes and small boats, small powerboats and we have to go back and forth to where we park,” said Frith.
The flooding is having an even bigger impact on his boating and charter business.
“Right now and as long as it’s like this, we can’t get the big boats out underneath the bridge," Frith explained. "We’re literally waterlocked.”
For comparison, last year the Ohio River was so high you could step off the River Road bridge straight onto the docks of the Creekside Landing Marina. This year the water is running about ten feet below that.
“Is it unusual to get them in multiples at a time this high, it’s unusual,” said Frith.
It’s unusual because since Februrary of last year we’ve had a developing El Nino. Warmer waters in the Pacific have strengthened a high pressure ridge well to our west leading to a dip in the jetsream in the central United States. That puts WAVE Country in the frequent storm track. Combined with a ton of moisture from the Pacific and Gulf of Mexico it’s a recipe for excessive rainfall.
“Everybody pull together, help get these things cleaned back up, businesses opened" said Frith. "That’s the big thing that makes it thrive. It’s part of being on the river.”