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Flooding Should Cause Few Issues For Thunder Over Louisville, Festival Official Says

A surging Ohio River is expected to cause few issues for Saturday's Thunder Over Louisville festivities, despite flooding on some of portions of the waterfront viewing area.

Organizers expect Saturday’s air and fireworks show along the waterfront to draw nearly 700,000 people.

In past years, flooding has led organizers to plan accordingly for high water during Thunder weekend, said Aimee Boyd, spokeswoman for the Kentucky Derby Festival.

“We will lose some real estate, about half of the Great Lawn, the Wharf and then some areas of the river walk going east. Some of those areas will be lost for seating,” she said.

Despite that, Boyd said there will still be “plenty of seating along the waterfront for the show."

“It’s pretty much business as usual," she said.

In fact, the swift currents that come along with flooding will force the barges that hold the fireworks to spread out more than usual, which, in turn, will cause the show to be larger.

“Everyone along the waterfront will be getting a front seat show,” Boyd said.

Boyd urged people to use caution near the river’s banks because the flooded river will have swifter currents than usual, she said.

The Thunder Over Louisville air show begins at 3 p.m. The fireworks are set to begin around 9:30 p.m.

Jacob Ryan is the managing editor of the Kentucky Center for Investigative reporting. He's an award-winning investigative reporter who joined LPM in 2014. Email Jacob at jryan@lpm.org.

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