Massive trail of dead fish flows into Ohio River following Jim Beam warehouse fire

Officials believe the plume will dissipate quickly in the Ohio River and not kill anymore fish. (Source: WAVE 3 News)

CARROLLTON, Ky. (WAVE) -- A bourbon inferno is flooding a nearby river with dead fish.

Now a cocktail of bourbon, ash and carcasses has made its way into the Ohio River, upstream of Louisville.

The fish kill follows a massive fire last week at a Jim Beam barrel warehouse in Woodford County.

The fire burned for days because crews didn’t want to put water on it and create even more runoff.

It led to a 23-mile long "alcohol plume" that flowed into the Kentucky River and now into the Ohio River in Carrollton.

With a view of the Kentucky River flowing into the Ohio, Carrollton’s Point Park is a favorite summer spot. But the view and the smell took a turn Monday and visitors like Linda Allgerier stopped by for a different reason.

“It’s disgusting,” Allgerier said. “It’s a shame. We’re losing our wildlife. What else is it going to affect besides the fish?”

As the plume of alcohol flowed from Woodford County to Carroll County through the Kentucky River, it left a massive trail of dead fish.

"It’s alarming to me, what it does to not only the fish but the whole ecosystem,” Mayor Robb Adams said.

Adams said he is troubled by what his city is seeing.

“Right now it’s minimal, I think what we’re going to experience is long-term effects of the fish kill," Adams said. “It could be detrimental for a few years for the fishing and economic impact that that provides from here on up.”

The alcohol plume will take around two days to get through Carrollton.

The Department of Fish and Wildlife is looking into the damage it’ll cause along the way, assessing wildlife impacts and collecting fish kill counts. The company that owns Jim Beam will likely be issued violations and fines.

”Of course you can’t control fires, but there should be a better way to do the whiskey and keep it away from the waterways to contain it,” Allgerier said.

As the plume continues to flow into the Ohio, officials think it's going to dissipate quickly since it's a much larger body of water. They said they don't believe fish in the Ohio will be impacted.

The Louisville Water Company said people in the Metro don’t need to worry about quality, but they’re taking samples and monitoring levels to protect the taste of the water.

Adams said the drinking water in Carrollton is not affected either.

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