Officials in towns along Kentucky's myriad of rivers are worried about being left blind the next time a waterway reaches overflow levels. Federal budget cuts, part of the $1.2 million mandatory cutback in spending, have eliminated river gauges that alert towns when the water is about to burst its banks.
One of those gauges was along the Licking River in Pendleton County, where a 1997 flood killed five people. Local governments in are scrambling to pay for the gauges. Falmouth Mayor Mark Hart told The Kentucky Enquirer that if funds can't be found to pay for the gauge near the city, residents will lose the 18-hour advance notification they now get.