For Immediate Release
December 19, 2006 (Owensboro, KY) – The National Weather Service (NWS) , the United States Geological Survey (USGS), Daviess County Emergency Management Agency (EMA), and Owensboro Riverport announced today the completion of a joint project for the installation of a river gauge for use in hydrological forecasting on the Ohio River benefiting the City of Owensboro, KY and the surrounding region.
Until now, the closest river gauges to Owensboro (Ohio River Mile 756) were located upriver at the Cannelton Lock and Dam, Cannelton, IN (Ohio River Mile 720 – total of 36 miles away) and downriver at the Newburgh Lock and Dam, Newburgh, IN (Ohio River Mile 776 – total of 20 miles away). An official gauge marking elevation left Owensboro with the removal of Lock and Dam # 46 in 1975.
The river gauge was installed at Owensboro Riverport’s Harbor Road Terminal dock located at 2300 Harbor Road, Owensboro. Installation of the river gauge concluded today. NWS is projecting readings from the flood gauge will be available to the public beginning January 1, 2007 assuming retrieval of test data reveal no problems. Owensboro Riverport and USGS provided the employee labor and materials needed for the project.
“We are donating our labor, materials, and time to get this project completed,” Maurice Owen, Port Director at the Owensboro Riverport stated. “As a river town in the lower Ohio River Valley flooding is a real concern. Lack of knowledge about the river can impact commerce for business and industry, inflict major property damage, and worse of all, loss of human life.” Owen added, “Each organization represented in this project had a desire to improve the accuracy of hydrological forecasting in the
Owensboro area. We are pleased to partner with, the National Weather Service, the United States Geological Survey, and Daviess County Emergency Management Agency for installation of this river gauge at our river terminal. We hope to see daily forecasts produced as the river affects our operation and the regional industries we support. It will benefit all of our neighbors in the community.”
The National Weather Service (NWS) is charged with providing river forecasts, warnings and statements for the nation’s waterways. The NWS’s 13 River Forecast Centers (RFC) use river gauge readings for use in locally run hydrologic models. Most of these river gauges are owned by a wide range of cooperators including the U.S. Geological Survey and the Army Corps of Engineers. Numerous RFC hydrologists then use their expertise to create long- and short-term river forecasts.
Forecasts for the Ohio River from Pittsburgh, PA to Golconda, IL are produced at the Ohio River Forecast Center in Wilmington, OH. Beyond Golconda, IL to the confluence of the Mississippi River, Ohio River Forecasts are produced by the Lower Mississippi River Forecast Center in Slidell, LA. Personnel at the Weather Forecast Office in Paducah, KY then take these forecasts and issue flood warnings and statements as necessary and create products to meet local needs.
According to Mary Lamm, Service Hydrologist, NWS, “The National Weather Service is pleased to partner with the USGS, Daviess County Emergency Management, and Owensboro Riverport to bring a river gauge back to Owensboro. Over thirty years has passed since the destruction of Lock and Dam 46; over thirty years since there has been a measured river elevation. Having a daily river gauge reading will allow NWS hydrologists to more accurately predict Ohio River levels for Owensboro.”
Dennis McClain, Supervisory Hydrologic Technician for USGS, commented: “We appreciate the willingness of the local community to have the gauge installed. Everyone immediately recognized the benefit of having a gauge for the community and we are excited to be included in this partnership.”
Richard Payne, Director, Daviess County Emergency Management Agency, also sees this project having immense importance for the area. “As humans, we have a tendency to have short-term memories. The Flood of March 1997 was a devastating event for our community and the entire Ohio
River Valley. With the installation of this gauge and the additional data that will now be available we can more accurately forecast what the river is going to do and warn the public of dangers to their being and/or property.”
Payne credited the City of Owensboro, led by Mayor Tom Watson, and Daviess County Fiscal Court, led by Judge-Executive Reid Haire, for their assistance in completing this project.
Additional information may be obtained by contacting the following individuals:
Mary Lamm – Service Hydrologist, National Weather Service (270) 744-6440, ext. 493
Dennis McClain – Supervisory Hydrologic Technician, USGS (502) 493-1920
Richard Payne – Director, Daviess County Emergency Management (270) 685-8448
Ed Riney - President/CEO, Owensboro Riverport (270) 926-4238, ext. 201
About the National Weather Service
The National Weather Service (NWS) is part of the Department of Commerce’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The National Weather Service Forecast Office in Paducah, KY is responsible for warnings and forecasts covering 58 counties over 4 states; including the cities of Owensboro, Kentucky and Evansville, Indiana.
For further information on the National Weather Service please visit www.weather.gov or www.weather.gov/paducah.
About the United States Geological Survey
The United States Geological Survey (USGS) is part of the Department of the Interior. The USGS serves the nation by providing reliable scientific information to describe and understand the Earth; minimize loss of life and property from natural disasters; manage water, biological, energy, and mineral resources; and enhance and protect our quality of life. The USGS office in Louisville, KY serves the Owensboro area.
For further information on the United States Geological Survey please visit www.usgs.gov.
About Daviess County Emergency Management Agency
The Daviess County Emergency Management Agency (EMA) is a governmental entity that coordinates Emergency Management Services for Daviess County, Kentucky, by providing inspiration, leadership, planning, education, technical capabilities and resources to protect lives, property and the environment using an all-hazards approach through mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery efforts pertaining to major emergencies or disasters arising from natural or manmade causes.
For further information on Daviess County Emergency Management Agency please visit www.daviessky.org/departments/ema/emamain.htm.
About Owensboro Riverport
As the premier inland riverport in the Ohio Valley, the Owensboro Riverport is the perfect choice to meet shipping needs for cargo distribution in the Midwest and Mid-South. Non-ferrous metals, ferrous metals, agricultural products, paper, bulk, breakbulk, and project cargo are among the items handled at the port. Over 325 barges were handled at the Harbor Road Terminal last year.
In June 1976, operations began at the Riverport with the formal opening of a river terminal dock and warehouse storage facilities at Ohio River Mile 759. The facilities now incorporate over 1 million square feet of covered space. In 2005, Owensboro Riverport expanded with the addition of the Whaylon D. Coleman Terminal, a 92 acre site located on the Ohio River, dedicated to serve as a river-oriented industrial park for tenant development at Ohio River Mile 753.
Owensboro Riverport is the leading volume warehouse for primary and secondary aluminum in North America. Owensboro Riverport serves as a Licensed Warehouse for the London Metal Exchange and the New York Mercantile Exchange. Also, the Riverport serves as a U.S. Port of Entry and a Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ).
For further information on Owensboro Riverport, please visit www.OwensboroRiverport.com.
Marketing and Sales Director
TEL: (270) 926-4238, ext. 203
Fax: (270) 683-3711
Mobile: (270) 993-0045
Related Document: 2006.1219 - NWS, USGS, Daviess County EMA and Owensboro Riverport Announce Compl