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Old 10-24-2018, 05:51 PM
 
34 posts, read 118,572 times
Reputation: 54

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Long-time forum member, regular lurker, and once-in-a-blue-moon poster here. I chime in now as a family member is on the verge of setting down more permanent roots in your fabulous city (color me envious of her plans to establish herself there!) after a year of renting in the Highlands and loving life while there. She will be looking to purchase a condo or possibly a small single-family home, and I will help her zero in on the best listings for her needs and taste. I have visited her there on numerous occasions over the past year and also have made several visits on my own as a tourist since 2009; while this is obviously no substitute for actually LIVING there, I feel that I have a clearer sense of Louisville's urban landscape than a typical outsider or infrequent visitor.

My question to the forum is this: for those actually on the ground in Louisville (and especially those who have been there for some time), what do you understand to be the flood risk in central neighborhoods there? I have read a great deal about the 1937 flood and reports of knee-high water as far south as Churchill Downs, and although I realize that MUCH has changed in the past eighty years in terms of flood-prevention infrastructure, I have also read more recent reports of the flood walls and such not necessarily being up to the task of guarding against a truly major flood. Are downtown and Butchertown apt to be submerged at some point in the future? What about Old Louisville, farther inland but seemingly just as low-lying as the riverfront districts? The Highlands strikes me as a safer bet, by virtue of both its location and its name, but I welcome input on this area's flood risk as well. Even if an epic storm does not necessarily result in cars and ground-floor rooms underwater, what about basements? (My own rivertown got hit by a major storm recently, and while most of the residential areas here are on high-enough ground to escape the most obvious flooding, MANY basements WELL away from and above the river's floodplain were inundated by three to five feet of water.)

The last thing that my family member needs is to be constantly worried about flooding, so if any of these neighborhoods strike longer-term Louisville residents as risky prospects from this perspective, then we will direct our housing search to other areas.

Thanks in advance for any thoughts that you may be willing to share!
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Old 10-24-2018, 09:22 PM
 
6,295 posts, read 13,173,944 times
Reputation: 2789
Quote:
Originally Posted by clawhammerist View Post
Long-time forum member, regular lurker, and once-in-a-blue-moon poster here. I chime in now as a family member is on the verge of setting down more permanent roots in your fabulous city (color me envious of her plans to establish herself there!) after a year of renting in the Highlands and loving life while there. She will be looking to purchase a condo or possibly a small single-family home, and I will help her zero in on the best listings for her needs and taste. I have visited her there on numerous occasions over the past year and also have made several visits on my own as a tourist since 2009; while this is obviously no substitute for actually LIVING there, I feel that I have a clearer sense of Louisville's urban landscape than a typical outsider or infrequent visitor.

My question to the forum is this: for those actually on the ground in Louisville (and especially those who have been there for some time), what do you understand to be the flood risk in central neighborhoods there? I have read a great deal about the 1937 flood and reports of knee-high water as far south as Churchill Downs, and although I realize that MUCH has changed in the past eighty years in terms of flood-prevention infrastructure, I have also read more recent reports of the flood walls and such not necessarily being up to the task of guarding against a truly major flood. Are downtown and Butchertown apt to be submerged at some point in the future? What about Old Louisville, farther inland but seemingly just as low-lying as the riverfront districts? The Highlands strikes me as a safer bet, by virtue of both its location and its name, but I welcome input on this area's flood risk as well. Even if an epic storm does not necessarily result in cars and ground-floor rooms underwater, what about basements? (My own rivertown got hit by a major storm recently, and while most of the residential areas here are on high-enough ground to escape the most obvious flooding, MANY basements WELL away from and above the river's floodplain were inundated by three to five feet of water.)

The last thing that my family member needs is to be constantly worried about flooding, so if any of these neighborhoods strike longer-term Louisville residents as risky prospects from this perspective, then we will direct our housing search to other areas.

Thanks in advance for any thoughts that you may be willing to share!


ZERO chance. The 1937 flood was before a massive flood wall was built around the entire central city. Before she buys a home, she should check with the map to make sure she is not in a flood plain.

https://www.lojic.org/floodplain-determination

Most the flood plains in the central city are very small and NONE of them have to do with the river which was the cause of the 1937 flood which was twice as bad as Katrina which in my opinion prevented Louisville from becoming Atlanta or Dallas (a good and a bad thing). Flood plains in the urban core have to do with creeks. Simply ask your real estate agent and then confirm it is not in a flood plain by looking at that map before buying. I know for a fact the Highlands is 100% good except for a few blocks close to Beargrass Creek (check the map!)

The river rose this year to within a few feet of the historic 1937 flood range and not a single home behind the flood wall was affected...only those near creeks. Waterfront Park was however 10 feet under water or more. They said this year's flood was nearly a once in 100 year event. So hopefully we are good now and the wall was built to withstand a flood several feet higher than 1937, which would essentially be unheard of. I think statistically she'd have a better chance of dying in a car wreck.

We welcome her to Louisville and please comment here...and maybe it will win you over like it did me.
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Old 10-25-2018, 04:20 AM
 
94 posts, read 75,946 times
Reputation: 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by clawhammerist View Post
Long-time forum member, regular lurker, and once-in-a-blue-moon poster here. I chime in now as a family member is on the verge of setting down more permanent roots in your fabulous city (color me envious of her plans to establish herself there!) after a year of renting in the Highlands and loving life while there. She will be looking to purchase a condo or possibly a small single-family home, and I will help her zero in on the best listings for her needs and taste. I have visited her there on numerous occasions over the past year and also have made several visits on my own as a tourist since 2009; while this is obviously no substitute for actually LIVING there, I feel that I have a clearer sense of Louisville's urban landscape than a typical outsider or infrequent visitor.

My question to the forum is this: for those actually on the ground in Louisville (and especially those who have been there for some time), what do you understand to be the flood risk in central neighborhoods there? I have read a great deal about the 1937 flood and reports of knee-high water as far south as Churchill Downs, and although I realize that MUCH has changed in the past eighty years in terms of flood-prevention infrastructure, I have also read more recent reports of the flood walls and such not necessarily being up to the task of guarding against a truly major flood. Are downtown and Butchertown apt to be submerged at some point in the future? What about Old Louisville, farther inland but seemingly just as low-lying as the riverfront districts? The Highlands strikes me as a safer bet, by virtue of both its location and its name, but I welcome input on this area's flood risk as well. Even if an epic storm does not necessarily result in cars and ground-floor rooms underwater, what about basements? (My own rivertown got hit by a major storm recently, and while most of the residential areas here are on high-enough ground to escape the most obvious flooding, MANY basements WELL away from and above the river's floodplain were inundated by three to five feet of water.)

The last thing that my family member needs is to be constantly worried about flooding, so if any of these neighborhoods strike longer-term Louisville residents as risky prospects from this perspective, then we will direct our housing search to other areas.

Thanks in advance for any thoughts that you may be willing to share!

Have you looked at the 1937 flood map? I recently read the same article and was worried about the same and looking at the map was enlightening because its really hard to tell how real the risk of the wall not working properly that they talked about so we can at least look at what didn't flood that time. The elevation of the land hasn't changed since then but now we have the flood wall, pumps, etc., so while it's not perfect it's probably not terribly likely it'll surpass 1937s high point. Basically Beargrass creek through Phoenix hill was as far east as the water got other than parts of the creek flooding along Germantown. I believe most of the creek wasn't channelized at that time, which now makes the risk of it flooding a lot smaller too, though during the big flood last year those channels were filled to the top and in some parts spilling over but still had some way to go before rising to homes. So I'm not really sure how all the central neighborhoods would fare if there were a catastrophic failure and a once in a millennium flood, but certainly greater Germantown, the Highlands, Clifton, and large parts of Butchertown (the parts that weren't have already been torn down because of the flood, like the pointe) and some of Downtown would be fine.

Last edited by cubedeathk; 10-25-2018 at 04:40 AM..
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Old Yesterday, 08:04 PM
 
34 posts, read 118,572 times
Reputation: 54
Thanks very much for these helpful responses! It sounds like we are in safe territory, but I will consult the flood maps once we start targeting specific properties. I really appreciate the advice shared so freely on this sub-forum and look forward to having even more of a reason to keep visiting Louisville!
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