National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce

The following are Ohio River hydrographs, showing the observed levels and forecast levels for places where major river flooding is ongoing. The emphasis on floodfighting efforts is on cities not protected by permanent floodwalls or levees, such as Smithland, KY and Metropolis, IL. Major flooding is also occurring on tributary rivers and creeks, including the Clarks River in western KY.

For historical perspective on this flood, the three highest stages on record are ranked just above each hydrograph. Click on images for larger size..

Smithland, KY Paducah, KY Cairo, IL
1. 54.89 ft on 05/06/2011 1. 60.60 ft on 02/02/1937 1. 61.72 ft on 05/02/2011
2. 51.44 ft on 03/12/1997 2. 55.03 ft on 05/05/2011 2. 59.50 ft on 02/03/1937
3. 50.14 ft on 03/02/2018 3. 54.30 ft on 02/23/1884 3. 56.50 ft on 04/03/1975
Ohio River at Smithland Lock and Dam Ohio River at Paducah Ohio River at Cairo


The rivers are being fed by a long-term surplus of rainfall over the Tennessee and Ohio Valleys that began last year. Rainfall during the month of February has been near or above record levels. Nashville, Tennessee broke its February rainfall record with over a foot of rain. Monthly rainfall at Paducah, Kentucky through the 24th is 9.43 inches, which makes this the 2nd wettest February on record at Paducah. Records at Paducah go back to 1937. For more information on the longer term surplus of rainfall, please read the following articles: