Traffic Alert: Rising Floodwaters Likely to Force Cave-in-Rock Ferry to Close Friday Afternoon or Evening

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Paducah, Ky (March 4, 2021) —  Rising floodwaters on the Ohio River are likely to force the Cave-in-Rock Ferry to temporarily close sometime during the afternoon or evening hours of Friday, March 5, 2021.

The ferry normally has to halt service when the river reaches about 42.5 ft. on the Shawneetown gauge.  The specific time the ferry is forced to close can vary by about a foot according to a number of factors.

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Based on today’s river forecast, the river will reach 42.2 ft. at 6 p.m., on Friday.  The floodwaters are then expected to continue rising to 43.6 ft. by March 10.

Ferry operator Lonnie Lewis will look at the updated river forecast on Friday morning and attempt to provide a more specific estimate on when floodwaters will force the ferry to close. 

Photo Credit: Cave-In Rock Ferry Facebook

The ferry carries about 500 vehicles across the Ohio River in an average day.  The ferry provides an economic link for daily commuters who depend on it to get to and from jobs, and serves a tourism link between the Shawnee National Forest and the Amish Community in Crittenden County.  When the ferry is forced to close it turns a 10-mile trip between Cave-in-Rock, IL, and Marion, KY, into a 60-mile detour.

For timely information on the ferry’s operating status please go to www.facebook.com/CIRFerry . You do not have to be a Facebook member to access this page.

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 starts service at 6:00 a.m., central time, 7 days a week.  The last run from the Illinois landing is at 9:40 p.m..  The last run from the Kentucky landing is at 9:50 p.m.

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.