Brief High-Water Period Creates Delays On Ohio

Rain the weekend of May 7-8 brought about a swift rise on the Ohio River, especially in the upper reaches.

Due to the high-water conditions, southbound locking at McAlpine Locks and Dam in Louisville, Ky., was limited to daylight hours only through May 13, said Katelyn Newton, chief of public affairs for the Louisville Engineer District.

She added that although the district was not experiencing any issues or delays due to drift, the district was flushing drift through the auxiliary chamber at Markland Locks and Dam, which is typical.

Brian Wright, executive director of the Owensboro Riverport Authority in Kentucky, said the river came up fast, from 22 or 23 feet, near normal pool, on May 7 to 27.8 feet by May 9. It was projected to crest at 35.6 feet on May 13.

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Several inbound tows coming from near Cairo, Ill., that had been expected to arrive over the May 14-15 weekend told the port they would be delayed until about May 17, he said.

Additionally, the high water caused a delay of few days on a port construction project. Plans had called for pouring deadmen for the tiebacks to a new dock, but the river was temporarily too high for that, Wright said.

He anticipated the river returning to close to normal pool by May 16.