Flooding And More Crane Drama Present Continued Challenges For Thunder Over Louisville In 2015

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E-3 Sentry - Thunder Over Louisville 2010

The challenges are continuing to build for this year’s Thunder Over Louisville airshow in Kentucky. Even after the FAA prevented the headlining USAF Thunderbirds and US Navy F-18 Super Hornet from performing (perhaps forever), the event has had even more issues arise.

The show takes place over the Ohio River, which is currently flooded up onto city streets. The photo below was shared by airshow pilot Greg Colyer (T-33 “Ace Maker”) from the Thunder command center downtown. At the lower right, you can see a fence that marks one of the popular seating areas for the show, which is completely submerged. No doubt plenty of other viewing areas are also under water, meaning visitors will be even further from the action than normal. In fact, the river is forecast to reach peak flooding tomorrow at 8 pm – almost exactly during the main part of the event. You can also see the large cranes that started much of this FAA craziness in the background.

Thunder Over Louisville Flooding - Greg Colyer
Part of the Thunder Over Louisville show site – Greg Colyer

In fact, more drama with those cranes arose this week when the FAA dictated that large flags must be placed on the cranes to better mark them as obstacles for the pilots. The insurance company for the crane owners refused to cover sending a worker over the unusually fast and turbulent waters of the flooded river, meaning that for a time it appeared the entire airshow could be canceled. Luckily for the event and fans alike, local firefighters saved the day by holding a training exercise on the cranes while also hanging the flags that the FAA somehow feels will make the gigantic cranes more visible.

This truly has been a bizarre run up to what is regarded as the Midwest’s first major airshow of the season. Let’s hope it doesn’t continue!

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