MSD prepares to install flood gates as flooding worsens

MSD prepares to install flood gates as flooding worsens
MSD is operating 14 of their 16 pumping stations around the clock.
The timing and amount of flooding is unpredictable. (Source: WAVE 3 News)
The timing and amount of flooding is unpredictable. (Source: WAVE 3 News)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) – On Friday, the Metropolitan Sewer District will close the 10th and 27th Street sections of the flood wall in advance of rising water levels.

Since February 10, dozens of workers have been added to the flood protection team and have helped pump over three billion gallons of water.

When the river rises and the rain falls, MSD brings in extra help at the pumping stations. Right now, they're operating round the clock at 14 of their 16 pumping stations.

"A lot of people might not know these stations exists," MSD employee Loughnie Gaines said.

Gaines has learned a lot about the Beargrass Creek Pumping station. For now, it's his office.

"Doing a completely different job makes you feel different," Gaines said. "I get to monitor water levels and keep Louisville flood free."

Gaines typically works in an office role for MSD. He is one of 48 temporary workers added to the flood protection team.

"Everybody at MSD chips in and they stop doing their daily job," Josh Dickerson, a Flood Protection Project Administrator, said.

Dickerson's staff is typically 15 people working on the maintenance of one the region's largest flood protection systems.

"Every day our crews are busy with preventative maintenance," Dickerson said. "The pumps do sit idle, so we need them ready when we need to use them."

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MSD also manages a flood wall and levies that stretch 29 miles. Dickerson said the goal is to prevent devastating flood damage the city has seen in the past.

"When the river comes up we don't want anybody to get harmed in the flooding," Dickerson said. "We don't want to lose houses and properties."

The unpredictability of river levels means Gaines doesn't know how long he will be in his temporary role. That's something he said makes the job all the more interesting.

"I don't know how many pumps will be running. or how much water will be out there so this is a little more exciting," Gaines said.

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