Mother Nature plays nasty tricks; ruins regional, local July 4 events

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By Wesley Robinson
News Intern, The Oldham Era

Rain slowed Oldham County Fourth of July celebrations, but couldn’t stop the county’s celebration entirely.

The fireworks show was rescheduled to the evening of July 5, but all other events were canceled.

“The Parks and Rec department did the best it could, but it can’t control the weather,” said Oldham County Judge-Executive David Voegele.

Tim Curtis, director of Parks and Recreation said more than 1000 people turned out to watch the fireworks at Wendell Moore park, the Oldham County Country Club and Oldham County High School’s softball field.

The family celebration and concert had to be canceled because of the rain and the local band, Coffee Jam, could not reschedule for the July 5 make-up date.

Elsewhere, plans were postponed, cancelled

In Carroll County, rain caused flooding on parts of Hwy. 36 East and forced the city of Carrollton to cancel its Fourth of July festivities – twice.

According to the National Weather Service Advanced Hydrologic Prediction Service, areas of Carroll County registered 2-4 inches of precipitation from July 1-8, while parts of Gallatin, Grant and Owen counties had up to eight inches. However, the Kentucky Mesonet only measured 2.11 inches over the same time period.

“We did have localized heavier rains, especially upstream on the Kentucky River and on Eagle Creek,” Carroll County Flood Plain Manager Mitchell Perkins said.

The National Weather Service issued a flood warning on the Kentucky River at Lock No. 2 in Lockport for Saturday into Sunday morning, Perkins said. Water was across the road on Hwy. 36 East just outside of Sanders along the railroad tracks, he said.

There also was a motor home stranded in the high water on Hwy. 36 East that had to be towed out Sunday once the water receded, Perkins said.

Carrollton’s Fourth of July, which was to feature a country music concert Thursday night by T.G. Sheppard and Kelly Lang and a fireworks display, was postponed to Saturday, then cancelled.

Officials are hoping to reschedule the event, including the concert, for Labor Day weekend.

Madison Regatta

An inordinate amount of rainfall over the region kept officials of Madison Regatta, Inc., and H1 Unlimited guessing all weekend as to how soon the rising water would stabilize.

With high water rising above the entire pit area along Madison’s riverfront, officials had little choice but to cancel the event after monitoring the situation for three days and seeing the river jump from a projected 29-foot crest at the Markland Locks and Dam lower gauge to more than 34.4 feet Sunday morning and continuing to rise through the day. The pool stage at Markland’s lower gauge is 12 feet.

With the entire pit ramp on Madison’s river levee underwater, there was no alternate staging area to set up cranes, boats and equipment, docks and other facilities for safety and rescue equipment necessary for the racing to take place. Heavy debris made it impossible for hydroplane drivers to safely negotiate Madison’s Bill Cantrell Memorial Race Course at racing speeds approaching 180 miles per hour.

It is the first time in its 63-year history that the event was cancelled and not rescheduled.

Kristin Beck and Dave Taylor of Landmark News Service contributed to this report.