The Ohio River Flood of 1997


A total of 5 to 10 inches of rain fell over much of the Lower Ohio Valley from about February 28 to March 1, 1997. The Ohio River crested at about its 2nd highest level in the past 50 years at Paducah. Total damage from flash flooding and river flooding combined was close to 100 million dollars in the counties served by our office. There were several flood-related fatalities. Numerous evacuations and road closures were necessary. A federal disaster area was declared for most of the counties along the Ohio River.

Here are a few photos. The first photo was taken in Metropolis, Illinois, looking toward the Ohio River. Notice that the water came at least three blocks into the city.

This photo was taken along U.S. Highway 60 at Smithland, KY. Signs welcoming motorists to Smithland are visible in front of the building in this photo.

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