Heavy rain on Sunday is still the cause for the devastating flooding this week. Many rivers remain swollen and won’t recede until the weekend.
On Sunday, a stalled front brought heavy rain and thunderstorms. Widespread 2 to 4 inches of rain fell, but there was a stripe of 4 to locally 8 inches of rain that fell from Bowling Green into southeastern Kentucky.
With so much rain in about a 24-hour time, flash flooding occurred. This happens when heavy rain causes dangerous, life-threatening flooding to occur very rapidly. The ground became totally saturated and could no longer hold take any more water.
Eventually, the water that spilled into the creeks and streams drained into the larger rivers. That’s what is going on at the moment. The larger rivers are coming out of their banks, causing flooding into the rest of the week.
Rivers Remain Swollen
Minor flooding will continue into the weekend on the Ohio River. Southern and eastern Kentucky continue to feel the effects of moderate to even major flooding along the Kentucky River. In fact, near-record flooding is possible at Camp Nelson.
A hydrograph is a graph that shows a river’s flow over time at a specific point along a river. The flow is typically measured by cubic feet per second, which is often translated to a river stage (which is not a depth).
The Kentucky River at Camp Nelson is nearing record flood stage, which is 46 feet. Major flooding will continue into Thursday and the river will gradually fall below flood stage by the weekend.
The Ohio River at Louisville will remain in minor flood stage, but get close to moderate stage on Saturday, rising to 29 feet. Moderate flood stage is 30 feet.
If there is any good news to share, there is very little rain in the forecast over the next seven days, giving time for the ground to absorb the water and the rivers to recede back into their banks. The next chance of rain looks to be next Wednesday and Thursday.