Owensboro escapes flooding

Last weekend’s heavy rains didn’t cause serious flooding in Owensboro, a fact not lost on city officials.  Owensboro City Manager Bill Parrish said the rain gauge at Fire Station No. 4 recorded 5.07 inches of rain.

During Tuesday’s City Commission meeting, Parrish said storm water projects completed in the last several years are working to reduce flooding after storms. The city has devoted $27 million toward its storm water master plan initiative.

“We had some minor flooding, but areas that typically flood did not,” Parrish said. “… There’s been dramatic improvement.”

“It’s great driving around the city and seeing those streets clear,” Mayor Ron Payne said.

City Engineer Joe Schepers said the completed Goetz Ditch project has agreatly lleviated problems in such areas as Byers Avenue and Placid Place, which were typically inundated in past years when thunderstorms swept through the city.

The Scherm ditch and flood basin project, although not finished, is already showing results, Schepers said. The 18-acre basin being dug at Scherm Road and Barren Drive is about 75 percent finished, but filled with water last weekend.

“We saw quite a bit of improvement,” Schepers said. “Water was lower in Wesleyan Park Plaza. We’re just getting started connecting the basin to the area, but the water had a place to go. … We’re not taking all the water to it, but a lot more. We’ve still got small pipes leading to it. After this Phase III project, it will be a lot better. The theory is working. When we get the Scherm ditch project done, we expect to see the same results as we’ve had with the Goetz ditch.

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