Louisville’s Storm Protection Strategy: A Flood Gate

Jul 11

Louisville’s Storm Protection Strategy: A Flood Gate

The city of Louisville has recently pledged its commitment to maintain the existing infrastructure and improve its flood conditions. Since the pumping stations and levees were built, Louisville has added more hard surfaces like roads, parking lots, and buildings-creating even more potential floodwaters- resulting in pumping stations that no longer have enough capacity to sufficiently protect the city. Much of that development occurred before there were requirements to protect flood plains. Studies have also shown the number of storms with 3 inches of rain or more in 24 hours – a two-year storm – has doubled in the last decade, compared to the conditions 50 years. Louisville is strategizing to implement best practices to curb massive sewage overflows. The sewer district has also researched the most efficient means to move and temporarily store sewage and rain in its combined storm and sewer lines. An innovative approach, on the horizon for neighborhoods within Louisville, is a new flood gate to circumvent massive rains. The flood gate is16 feet wide, 24 feet tall and 45,000 pounds of custom-crafted metal and will replace a rusted, corroded gate. The city has 29 miles of levees and walls with rains that are inundating Louisville neighborhoods that need to be pumped out. The $850,000 flood gate project is underway and is expected to provide protection for decades, safeguarding 70,000 homes and 6,000 businesses in more than 40 neighborhoods. The rain torrents, just months ago, lead to approximately 100 water rescues, water standing 8-10 feet high, and interstate ramp closures. The city could face devastating flooding if the pumping stations fail during high waters and rain.

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