NewsCovering Kentucky


Cumberland River in Williamsburg reaches near-record peak

U.S. Geological Survey offers public data on river
Posted at 10:57 PM, Feb 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-12 05:37:25-05

WILLIAMSBURG, Ky. (LEX 18) — Data shows the Cumberland River in Williamsburg reached a near-record peak over the weekend as flooding resulted in dozens of water rescues and one death.

The river was measured at its highest peak since the flood of 1977, according to Stephen Pickard, a technician with U.S. Geological Survey.

"You hear a lot of, 'I’ve never seen it this high,' or, 'the river's never been this high,' but it was in fact the highest it’s been since 1977 and it come very close to being as high as 1977," Pickard said.

The flood wall that protects downtown Williamsburg had not yet been built in '77, when people were seen riding boats through downtown.

Technology has also improved since the 1977 flood, Pickard said.

The USGS tracks nearly instantaneous data from the river and the data is used by the National Weather Service and the Army Corps of Engineers, he said.

There are over 200 gauges that track data in waterways throughout Kentucky, he said. Public data collected from across the commonwealth is available at: