Safely cleaning up after a flood

March 6, 2021

With Ohio River floodwaters receding, home and business owners turn their attention to the task of cleaning up. MSD advises taking photographs of the damage before cleanup begins. Residents and owners are encouraged to begin cleanup as soon as possible; floodplain permits are not required before cleanup begins.


Flood cleanup safety tips:

• Before entering your home, check for damaged power lines, gas lines, foundation cracks and other exterior damage. It may be too dangerous to enter the home.

• If you smell natural gas or propane or hear a hissing noise, leave immediately and contact the fire department

• Do not walk into a flooded basement because of the risk of electrocution. Turn off gas, water and electricity — if you can without wading into the water.

• Discard any food, medicine or cosmetics that may have come into contact with floodwaters.

• Floodwaters can carry chemicals and germs that could be harmful to your health. Protect yourself during cleanup by wearing boots, gloves and masks. Clean and disinfect everything that may have come in contact with floodwater.

• Open all doors and windows to circulate air and dry out your home. Dehumidify as soon as possible.


Get a permit before you repair or rebuild in a floodplain

MSD is responsible for permitting and inspecting all new construction, including repairs and improvements to existing structures in the floodplain, according to the Louisville Metro Floodplain Ordinance. You may apply for a floodplain permit online. Download the Application for a Permit to Develop/Repair in a Floodplain, visit and click on the “Permitting” icon.

 Application steps:

• For repairs or improvements to an existing structure, provide an itemized estimate of material and labor costs of the repairs or improvements to be made, including demolition costs—even if this work is to be done by the homeowner or a volunteer. It is not required to include cleanup costs in the estimate.

• Provide building value—PVA data or owner-provided appraisal.

• Submit the application and all documents listed above.

• Apply by email:

For questions concerning floodplain permitting, call 502.540.6126.

For more information on the floodplain visit

MSD Customer Relations is available 24/7/365 at 502.540.6000 and by email at