High water triggers evacuations

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Kentucky River expected to crest about 10 feet over flood stage

By Molly Haines

Despite Tuesday’s sunny weather, some areas of Monterey and Gratz were still experiencing the fallout from the wet weekend.

As the waters of the Kentucky River continued to rise above the 40-foot mark Tuesday morning, some Owen County roads were flooded.

Hwy. 355 between Monterey and Gratz and Gratz and Perry Park were blocked, along with Old Landing Road, Point of Rock Road and the lower end of Big Twin Creek Road.

Owen County Road Supervisor Greg Smoot said a temporary bypass had opened up Tuesday on Hwy. 22 above Gratz.

Smoot said the water had been on a steady rise since Monday.

“It’s hard to tell people what to do,” Smoot said. “They’ve changed the crest four or five times and no one ever really knew how bad it was going to get.”

Owen County Judge-Executive Carolyn Keith said she had been told by FEMA that the water would crest at 43 feet in Frankfort early Tuesday afternoon. This would be 12 feet above flood stage.

Keith said she had been told that the water in Monterey typically crests six to seven hours after Frankfort.

According to www.weather.com, the Owen County EMA reported four homes near Monterey were being evacuated and much of the town of Gratz was flooded.

More homes in Monterey were expected to be evacuated Tuesday afternoon.

Keith said county officials declared Owen County to be in a state of disaster Tuesday morning.

Four people across the state of Kentucky have been confirmed dead in relation to the flooding.

Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear is expected to declare a state of disaster in connection with the flood.