Record Rainfall Poses Possibility of Flooding, Sewer Backups

by Erica Peterson on December 5, 2011

Louisville is experiencing record levels of rainfall, which means the Metropolitan Sewer District is working to prevent sewer backups and flooding.

More than two and a half inches of rain have fallen in Louisville in the past 24 hours, adding to the six inches that fell last week. At this rate, the area is expected to set a new record for annual rainfall, passing the 64.2 inches that fell in 2004.

MSD Executive Director Bud Schardein says the volume of rain and the already-saturated soil are a bad combination.

“And all of that together means the river’s going to start coming back up again,” he said. “We don’t see any flash flooding issues right now—all our streams and creeks are still handling the rain runoff pretty well.”

This morning the Ohio River was at about 15 feet, three feet above normal and 8 feet below flood stage. Two flood pumping stations are already in service, and Schardein expects more pumping stations be turned on over the course of the evening.

The MSD is also pumping out the sanitary sewer overflow to prevent it from backing up into people’s homes. Schardein recommends that Louisville residents refrain from using their washing machines or dishwashers today, to avoid sending even more water into the sewer system.

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