Kentucky Distilleries Endangered by Extreme Rain


July 7, 2013

Heavy Kentucky rains may endanger distilleries. According to the National Weather Service, Kentucky is smacked in the middle of a tropical moisture belt that has led to extreme rainfall accumulations in central and eastern Kentucky. Since many distilleries are located near creeks and rivers, flooding is a very serious concern.

These heavy rains greatly impacted July 4 celebrations and delayed a NASCAR event.

On July 6, a flashflood alert was issued for Central and Eastern Kentucky, forcing the Woodford Reserve Distillery in Versailles to close “due to severe flooding both on the roads coming to distillery and Glenn’s Creek behind the distillery. We apologize for the inconvenience however the safety of our visitors and our staff is our main concern,” Woodford said on Facebook.

Perhaps the most at risk is The Buffalo Trace Distillery, which sits along the Kentucky River in Frankfort. In 1937, the Frankfort distillery flooded four feet above its Warehouse H. On Buffalo Trace tours, guides make a point to show the flood lines.

Buffalo Trace officials say the river has crested and is dropping. “We have a very detailed flood plan since we do have extensive experience with flooding due to our location,” spokesperson Amy Preske told me. “The river is currently nowhere near needing to enact it.”

The five day forecast shows 30-50% chance of rain. Let’s hope the bourbon stays safe.