LOUISVILLE, Ky. – So far, the forecast looks clear and sunny for Thunder Over Louisville. That means hundreds of boaters will take in the festivities from the Ohio River. After heavy rains, the river is higher than normal, so the US Coast Guard wants boaters to make sure they’re prepared.
The Coast Guard expects this year to be very similar to years past, despite the high water levels, but they’re counting on boaters to make smart decisions about whether they can handle that or not.
By Saturday night, nearly 600 boats will crowd the water of the Ohio River. Debris covering the banks is a sure sign that the river is flowing high this year.
The Coast Guard is now urging boaters to take extra precautions. “Really, just use your best judgment and your experience to decide if it’s safe for you,” Lt. Geoff Albe with the Coast Guard said. They’ll be patrolling the river along with Police, Sheriff, and Fire departments, ready to assist. “The main thing is just to be aware of it and if you’re not comfortable, don’t go out this year,” he said.
If you do choose to head out on the water, Lt. Albe says it’s a good idea to stay on the boat. “Don’t be jumping in the river. Right now, it’s high, it’s dirty and you don’t know what could be floating by. There’s a lot of debris.”
The Coast Guard will be at several boat ramps doing safety checks and handing out informational pamphlets. They also say it’s a good idea to have a marine radio to stay in contact with the Coast Guard patrols should there be any kind of trouble.