Flood Related Documents

Multi-Hazards Mitigation Plan/Floodplain Management Plan

The current Floodplain Management Plan is an addendum to the Louisville Metro Hazard Mitigation Plan. The Hazard Mitigation Plan is a 5-year plan developed to meet the requirements of the Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000 and the Community Rating System. The plan covers 13 hazards likely to affect the Louisville Metro area: flood, dam/levee failure, drought, earthquake, extreme heat, hail, hazardous materials, karst/sinkholes, landslide, severe storms, severe winter storms, tornadoes, and wildfire.

The Louisville and Jefferson County Floodplain Management Plan identifies flood related hazards, reviews current mitigation activities, and proposes measures to reduce the flooding hazard. Mitigation measures include structural projects, property protection activities, education, and natural resource protection activities.

2023 Louisville Metro Hazard Mitigation Plan

2023 Louisville Metro Floodplain Management Plan

Watershed Master Plan

The Watershed Master Plan was developed for Louisville Metro by MSD. MSD assumed responsibility of the community’s public stormwater system, along with the flood protection system, in 1987. The basis of this WMP was MSD’s original Watershed Master Plan, which was created in 1988 as part of the Stormwater Drainage Master Plan. The purpose of this plan is to help effectively manage present and future regional stormwater drainage in Louisville Metro.

Watershed Master Plan

Watershed Master Plan Maps

Map Index

HS-1 Hydric Soils Open Space Map

Middle Fork Beargrass Creek Watershed
Aerial Drainage Soils Land Use Floodplain
Muddy Fork Beargrass Creek Watershed
Aerial Drainage Soils Land Use Floodplain
South Fork Beargrass Creek Watershed
Aerial Drainage Soils Land Use Floodplain
Cedar Creek Watershed
Aerial Drainage Soils Land Use Floodplain
Floyds Fork Watershed
N Aerial S Aerial N Drainage S Drainage N Soils
S Soils N Land Use S Land Use N Floodplain S Floodplain
Goose Creek Watershed
Aerial Drainage Soils Land Use Floodplain
Harrods Creek Watershed
Aerial Drainage Soils Land Use Floodplain
Mill Creek Watershed
Aerial Drainage Soils Land Use Floodplain
Ohio River/City Watershed
E Aerial W Aerial E Drainage W Drainage E Soils
W Soils E Land Use W Land Use E Floodplain W Floodplain
Pennsylvania Run Watershed
Aerial Drainage Soils Land Use Floodplain
Pond Creek Watershed East/West/Central
E Aerial C Aerial W Aerial E Drainage C Drainage
W Drainage E Soils C Soils W Soils E Land Use
C Land Use W Land Use E Floodplain C Floodplain W Floodplain

Floodplain Management Ordinance

Our nation’s floodplains are regulated by federal, state, and local regulations. The Commonwealth of Kentucky and Louisville Metro regulates construction and development in floodplains so that buildings will be protected from flood damage. The regulations require a floodplain permit before you start any repair, renovation, development, improvement, or construction. Development means any changes to the property, including filling, regarding, and excavating. Also, our floodplain ordinance requires houses substantially damaged by fire, flood, or any other cause must be elevated one foot above the flood level.

The local floodplain ordinance includes strict requirements for both new construction and development in the floodplain. Therefore, you will need a floodplain permit before starting construction. All development in the floodplain requires two floodplain permits: one from the Kentucky Division of Water (DOW), and a local permit from MSD. 

Example Floodplain Regulations:

  • Construction or filling cannot reduce the ‘storage capacity” for floodwaters in a floodplain.
  • All new roads must be elevated at or above the floodplain elevation.
  • The first floor a new residential structure must be at two feet above the floodplain elevation, other structures must be at least one foot above the floodplain elevation.
  • Changes, improvements, and additions must meet the substantial improvement requirement for Pre-FIRM structures.

2022 Louisville Metro Floodplain Ordinance

For more information on how to apply for a permit to develop in a floodplain, visit permitting or email Flood Permits at floodpermits@louisvillemsd.org.

FEMA Programmatic Agreements

FEMA Historic Preservation Programmatic Agreement

2022 Update of the Program for Public Information Plan

The 2022 Update of the Program for Public Information Plan is an update to the original 2014 plan. The plan is an overview of outreach efforts related to flood and water quality topics. It also includes a Flood Insurance Coverage Assessment.

Floodplain Species Assessment

The Floodplain Species Assessment helps guide communities through a process to identify the listed and proposed species and critical habitat present in the community as well as to determine which CRS credits may recognize and encourage conservation and recovery actions for those species. The assessment involves a review of online information from federal sources to identify listed and proposed species, map their range and habitat, and review CRS activities appropriate for conservation and recovery of threatened and endangered species in general.

Substantial Damage Plan

The Substantial Damage Management Plan reviews all of the properties in the floodplain and identifies which structures have the potential to be substantially damaged (i.e., damage > 50 percent of the value of the building, and would need to be elevated or otherwise mitigated before it can be repaired). The plan is used to proactively prepare for future disasters and potentially mitigate flood prone areas before they have a significant issue. The majority of structures identified as having potential for substantial damage are along the Ohio River.