Flood Protection

MSD maintains Louisville Metro's Ohio River Flood Protection System—keeping the river at bay and out of the city.

The system protects more than 200,000 people, 87,000 homes and $24 billion in property throughout 110 square miles of Louisville Metro. It includes 29 miles of floodwall and earthen levee, 16 flood pumping stations, nearly 150 floodgates and 80 floodwall closures.

Where creeks and storm drains pass through the floodwall, gates can be closed to keep the river from flowing up the streams, and large pumps at the flood pumping stations are used to lift the water from the creeks into the river. Additional gates and pumping stations keep the river from backing up through storm drains, and pump the stormwater into the river.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers built the system after the city's two highest floods of record in 1937 and 1945. MSD has been responsible for the Flood Protection System since 1987.