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High water closes roads, schools in Pendleton County

Posted: 5:34 AM, Sep 25, 2018
Updated: 2018-09-25 19:24:58-04
Pendleton Co. schools closed due to high water

FALMOUTH, Ky. -- Pendleton County schools were closed Tuesday due to high water.

Thirteen county roads were closed. Of those roads, two are state roads; state Route 177 and state Route 330 are closed in a few spots, according to a Pendleton County dispatcher.

The Tri-State remains in a flash flood watch until 6 a.m. Wednesday. 

Route 330 closing cut off bus service to many of the district's students. Pendleton County Superintendent Joe Buerkley worried that, even if they found a way to bring students to school, the river could have risen even higher and kept them from going home.

"We've never had that happen and we're going to make sure that never does happen," he said. "Of course, we're not in control of Mother Nature, so we're just kind of watching and playing along."

For some residents, the rising waters brought back memories of the 1997 flood, when the river rose more than 51 feet.

"It's in the back of everybody's mind because it was such a devastating event," said Mike Moore, the Pendleton County Emergency Management director. "We had five people die, and millions of dollars worth of damage. It came rather quickly, and it's always in the back of people's minds, I believe."

Falmouth resident Angela Gillispie kept a close eye on the water as it inched closer and closer to her home. In 1997, the house was covered by water for four days, she said. 

"I feel that if it actually got up in the house that i would just wash away this time," Gillispie said.

The river crested at about 30 feet Tuesday, just a few feet short of Gillispie's basement. The National Weather Service is predicting that the worst is now over, but Moore said it may take longer for the river to recede because of rain.

"These roads that are flooded, it's just not worth driving through," he said. "So if you have to take a little extra time, please do that."