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Louisville Prepares For More Heavy Rain, Possible Flash Flooding

A pedestrian walks down South Fourth Street as a thunderstorm eases up on Tuesday, July 3.
A pedestrian walks down South Fourth Street as a thunderstorm eases up on Tuesday, July 3.

The heavy rains that have caused flooding and other problems this week in Louisville are expected to move out of the area Wednesday.

At a news conference Tuesday, Mayor Greg Fischer said Louisville could expect up to two inches of rain this evening. That rain could bring flash flooding, and Fischer said residents are somewhat accountable for their own safety and said people should use extra caution when driving during heavy rain events.

“From the rains that we had the week before last, it is clear that as a society we need to be talking more about the dangers of driving into standing water,” Fischer said. “Until we have 100 percent awareness of that, we still have got a lot to do.”

Earlier this month, storms dumped more than seven inches of rain in some parts of Louisville. Abdinasir Siyat, a cab driver whose vehicle was stuck in a flooded underpass, drowned.

City officials said they would paint more visible markers near 32 flood-prone viaducts to keep people from driving into them. But Jody Meiman, executive director of Emergency Management Services, said 17 of those viaducts don’t yet have signs telling people not to enter when flooded. He said there’s no timeline for when all the viaducts would get extra signage or for estimates on how much that would cost.

The recent flooding forced the cancellation of the Louder Than Life Festival scheduled for this weekend. Danny Wimmer Presents CEO Danny Hayes said they were disappointed by the cancellation, but plan to return to Louisville next year.

“It doesn’t deter us from the city, doesn’t change our passion, doesn’t change our plans,” Hayes said. “We’re here until you kick us out.”

Festival organizers announced Monday night that the event was cancelled because rain made Champions Park unsafe to host the three-day event.

Heavy rain and flooding also cancelled day two of the Bourbon and Beyond festival in Champions Park. 

Louisville dumped nearly 600 million gallons of sewage and stormwater into Kentucky waterways during three days of record-breaking rains and flash flooding earlier this month.

Kyeland Jackson is an Associate Producer for WFPL News.