FALMOUTH, Ky. (FOX19) - People living along the Licking River at Falmouth are being urged to evacuate by Pendleton County Emergency Management.
The National Weather Service originally warned “major flooding” was expected, but the updated forecast Wednesday morning places it at risk now for “moderate flooding.”
The NWS says the river will continue to rise through Tuesday night and into Wednesday.
Flood stage is 33 feet. The NWS predicts the Licking River was expected to swell to 41.7 feet, but now it will crest at nearly 37 feet Thursday morning.
On Tuesday, Pendleton County Emergency Management officials said “A portion of Hwy 27 going into Falmouth from the north is expected to be under water by mid morning tomorrow, Wednesday, May 20 and is not expected to recede until Thursday evening.”
Director of Emergency Management Mike Moore says officials are monitoring river gages set up on the Licking River.
“That’s something that they didn’t have back in ’97. We have tools now that we can keep an eye on the river and river levels,” Moore said referencing a severe flooding event that year.
“It’s very difficult. This county went through this in 1997. It was extremely devastating for people. We had five lives lost, and we just don’t want to do that again.”
Moore continued: "This time we want to be prepared and use this time that we have right now to give people enough warning, so they can get out and move their things and save their life and property.”
Officials are recommending that people living in the area move their belongings to the highest level and evacuate the area.
Resident Brendin Ernst is doing just that.
“We’re getting out of the house,” Ernst told FOX19 NOW, “because based on what they’re saying, the house is definitely going to be underwater.
“We’ve gotten everything that we’ve deemed important out of the home. So we’re good.”
“We are a town of survivors,” resident Rose Sinning said. “We will make it through.”
The Pendleton County High School is set up as a Red Cross shelter. The Red Cross is also helping folks there by offering them a hotel to stay in.
If you need any help, call (859) 654-6540.