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UPDATE: Cave-in-Rock Ferry now expected to resume service sometime on Tuesday, Feb 25th

UPDATE: Cave-in-Rock Ferry now expected to resume service sometime on Tuesday, Feb 25th

Bill Stephens

February 24th, 2020

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PADUCAH, Ky. (Feb. 24, 2020) — Based on the latest river forecast, the Cave-In-Rock Ferry is now expected to resume service sometime during the day on Tuesday, February 25, 2019.

The Cave-in-Rock Ferry closed at 6 p.m., Saturday, February 15, 2020, due to rising floodwaters that covered KY 91 near the Kentucky Landing.  Floodwaters have been dropping slowly since Friday night.   Ferry Operator Lonnie Lewis was optimistic the ferry could be back in service sometime today.  However, floodwaters are dropping slower than expected.  Based on the most recent river forecast and observation of water levels at the Kentucky Landing, Lewis and Kentucky Transportation Cabinet engineers have concluded it will be sometime during the day Tuesday before ferry service can resume.

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet Crittenden County Highway Maintenance Crew started efforts to remove drift, mud, and other debris from a section of KY 91 where floodwaters have dropped.  However, floodwaters still cover about ¼ mile of roadway leading to the Kentucky Landing.  Debris removal along that flooded section will have to wait until water drops about another two feet.

Removing debris from the roadway and inspection of drainage structures along the flooded section of KY 91 will take two to three hours.  Lewis anticipates being able to provide notice to commuters about an hour or two before ferry service resumes.  That notice will be posted at www.facebook.com/CIRFerry.

The Cave-in-Rock Ferry normally has to close when Ohio River floodwaters go above about 42 ft. on the Shawneetown gauge.  However, Lewis said for this event floodwater backed up from below, forcing the ferry to close about a half a day earlier than what the river forecast indicated.  As water drops, it takes about a half-day or more for water levels at the ferry landing to match those at the Shawneetown gauge.

Lewis said it appears it could be sometime Tuesday morning before a timeline can be established for resuming ferry service.

The Cave-In-Rock Ferry connects KY 91 with ILLINOIS Route 1 across the Ohio River between Crittenden County, KY, and Hardin County, IL.

The ferry normally operates from 6:00 a.m. to 9:50 p.m. central time, 7 days a week.  The ferry carries about 500 vehicles across the Ohio River in an average day.

The Cave-In-Rock Ferry is at Ohio River navigation mile point 881.0.

The Cave-In-Rock Ferry is operated by an independent contractor with joint funding from the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet and the Illinois Department of Transportation through a ferry authority.

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