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Owensboro-Daviess County participates in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and the Community Rating System (CRS), which is part of NFIP. Property owners in Daviess County currently receive a 10% reduction in flood insurance premiums due to participation in CRS, which is a combined effort of Daviess County EMA, OMPC, GIS and city/county government.  Mortgage holders require flood insurance if your property is located in a flood prone area as determined by FEMA flood maps. These maps are available on line (see link below), at the EMA office or at Planning and Zoning offices. Note: Flood insurance takes effect 30 days after your policy is issued.

Flood Preparedness Information

Community: _Daviess County, KY and City of Owensboro, KY

332.c   Public Information Program Strategy

Background:  The Community Rating System (CRS) is part of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).  It provides reductions to flood insurance premiums in participating communities.  The reductions are based on community floodplain management programs, including public information activities.  To keep those discounts, communities must continue to implement their programs and provide status reports to the NFIP each year.  Currently, Owensboro and Daviess County receive a 10% discount on premiums.

Purpose:  This document has been prepared by the Public Information Program Strategy committee to identify ongoing public information activities and recommend new ones to better inform our residents on how they can protect themselves from flood and drainage problems.

The Flood Hazard:  The Owensboro-Daviess County area has been subject to flooding for thousands of years.  Over 15 square miles of land are in flood-prone areas within the Urban Service Area.  The major historical flooding events, such as the 1937, 1997 and 2011 floods have occurred in the low-lying land along the Ohio River, Green River, and Panther Creek basins.  Additionally, flash flooding occurs on many county roads and city streets that creates problems for short durations.  Floodplain map information is available at the local library, Owensboro Metropolitan Planning Commission, and Daviess County Emergency Management.  The 100-year flood plain is included in the attachments.  FEMA Map Service Center has electronic versions of the Flood Maps (FIRMS) for Owensboro-Daviess County:

Community Needs Assessment:  Daviess County, Kentucky has approximately 100,000 residents with 477 square miles.  The City of Owensboro, located in Daviess County, has approximately 60,000 residents located in approximately 19 square miles.  Most buildings are slab-on-grade, basement or crawl space and are susceptible to flood damage from flooding and drainage problems.  Problems result from river flooding, Panther Creek flooding and flash flooding.

Repetitive Flooding:  Although the entire county is flood-prone, certain areas have been harder hit than others.  Using repetitive flood insurance claims, the City has identified repetitive loss areas with projects in place to alleviate some of the flooding, such as the Devins Ditch and Scherm Road basin projects.  The County has identified repetitive loss areas due to Panther Creek flooding.  Much drainage work and ditch clearing has been done, which has dramatically improved flooding conditions throughout Owensboro and Daviess County.

Flood Safety and Protection Measures:  Since flash flooding usually comes quickly during a heavy storm, people should take safety precautions, such as staying out of flooded areas and turning off electricity in a flooded building.  People can best protect their property by keeping leaves and other debris out of gutters, ditches, drains and gratings, reporting violations of the dumping regulations, and carrying flood insurance.

Strategy Team Members: Hunter Ragan, City of Owensboro; Linda Porter, American Red Cross; Shane Cox, Ohio Valley Insurance Agency; Matthew Warren, OMPC; Denise Bell, AmeriCorps; Vicky Connor, CRS Coordinator, Daviess County Emergency Management; and Brian Youpatoff, Independence Bank.

The annual meeting was held on Tuesday, December 14, 2021.

1. Priority topics of the community’s Public Information Program Strategy:

    1. Know your flood hazard.
    2. Insure your property for your flood hazard.
    3. Protect people from the hazard.
    4. Protect your property from the hazard.
    5. Build responsibly.
    6. Protect natural floodplain functions.
    7. General preparedness.
    8. Flood education.
    9. Educate contractors and homeowners.
    10. Flood insurance is available in X Zones.

2. Projects implemented during fiscal year 2020-2021 to meet those goals and their objectives:

    1. Matt Warren at OMPC distributed a handout on Floodplain regulations and Building Permits and Flood Insurance Purchase Requirement (attached) to residents/contractors asking questions regarding building or modifications in the floodplain.
    2. Targeted insurance agents, realtors and banks by mailing letters that contained flood preparedness flyer and flood map for Daviess County.
    3. Targeted repetitive loss areas by mailing letters three times per year that contained the flood preparedness flyer.
    4. Revised Daviess County Fiscal Court’s website to update flood preparedness and protection material and links.
    5. Assessed community’s current level of flood insurance coverage and identified shortcomings (FIP) for the summary.
    6. Annual flood response preparations were reviewed (FRP).
    7. Targeted homeowners by mailing out 25,000 “Leaf it to Us” cards annually in Daviess County.  The “Leaf it to Us” handouts are available to the public at City Hall.
    8. A rain barrel was painted and displayed at the Farmer’s Market this summer and auctioned off on July 6, 2021.
    9. Targeted industry and discussed Floods and weather information at the LEPC meeting held November 4, 2021.
    10. Distributed Flood Preparedness brochure and discussed flood preparedness at CERT training conduced in April-May 2021.
    11. Utilized social media by posting on Facebook every two months posts that cover all PPI topics.
    12. Flood/Disaster Preparedness brochures were distributed at the Air Show held August 14-15, 2021.
    13. Flood/Disaster Preparedness brochures were distributed at the Hydro Fair held August 21-22, 2021.

Summary of PPI Message and Expected Outcome:

Message Expected Outcome
A. Know your flood hazard. More map inquiries from residents
B. Insure your property for your flood hazard. Increase in number of flood policies
C. Protect people from the hazard. Fewer injuries and deaths
D. Protect your property from the hazard. Decrease claims and damage to property
E. Build responsibility. Build to reduce flood damage
F. Protect natural floodplain functions. Allow natural water flow and absorption
G. General preparedness. Increase disaster preparedness
H. Flood education. Increased public flood education
I. Education contractors and homeowners. Increased contractor and homeowner education to minimize flood damage
J. Flood insurance is available in X Zones. Increased flood insurance for residents in X Zones

PPI Projects and Initiatives Completed were reviewed, as well as Future Planned Projects and Flood Response Projects.

3. Were any projects not implemented or objectives not reached?  If not, why?

The Senior Day Out Event and Homeowner Association meeting were both cancelled due to COVID-19.  The Air Show and Hydro Fair were added.

4. What new projects/objectives should be implemented for 2022 Fiscal Year?

Current project implementation will be continued and additional projects to be implemented are as follows:

    1. Target homeowners by offering another Rain Barrel Workshop for 2022.
    2. Target seniors by distributing flood/disaster preparedness material at the mall during the annual Senior Day Out in September 2022.
    3. Target a neighborhood and distribute disaster preparedness information.
    4. Target industry and distribute Flood/Disaster Handout information at the next LEPC meeting to be held March 17, 2022.
    5. Distribute Flood Preparedness brochure and discuss flood preparedness at CERT training to be conducted in 2022.
    6. Utilize social media by posting to Facebook every two months, covering all PPI topics.
    7. Target repetitive loss areas by mailing letters three times per year that contain the flood preparedness flyer.
    8. Target insurance agents, realtors and banks by mailing letters that contain flood preparedness flyer and flood map for Daviess County.
    9. Review annual flood response preparations (FRP).

Flood Insurance Data

One readily available source of information on flood hazards is flood insurance data.  Two statistics from the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) tell:

  1. How many people have flood insurance policies?
  2. Where is the insurance coverage?

The data was studied by the strategy team.

Repetitive Loss Properties

There have been ten recorded repetitive loss properties in the county and seven recorded repetitive loss properties in the city.  A repetitive loss property is when at least two claims of over $1,000 over a 10-year period have been paid.  These numbers have remained minimal since 1978.  They will continue to be monitored each year.

Flood Response Preparation

In addition to projects that are implemented every year, the PPI Committee recommends projects that will be implemented during and after a flood.  These projects are drafted and made ready for reproduction and dissemination after a flood warning.

Monitoring and Evaluation

Meetings will be held annually to assess and evaluate the program.

Anyone interested in these projects or the overall program strategy can contact Daviess County Emergency Management, 221 Allen Street, Owensboro, KY, 42303 or call (270) 685-8448.

Daviess County Flooding

Flooding in Daviess County comes from two distinctly different sources, the Ohio River and Panther Creek.  At its peak, the 1997 flood was 9 ft. higher in elevation above sea level on South Frederica Street than it was at the foot of Frederica Street at the Ohio River.  This was caused by over 12 inches of rain in three days over the Panther Creek basin.  Ohio River flooding comes from the rain up the Ohio River Valley, all the way to Pennsylvania.  The River Forecast from the link under National Flood Insurance Program below does not reflect the forecast for Panther Creek.  Ohio River and Green River flooding will not affect Panther Creek east of KY Highway 279.


The PPI was adopted by Daviess County Fiscal Court and is reviewed annually.  The adoption date for the City of Owensboro is February 2, 2021.

River Gauge Data

Ohio River (Owensboro)
(Example: If latest observed value is 19.4 ft., it’s more than 20 ft. below the Flood Stage of 40 ft.)

Panther Creek (South Fork)
(Example: If latest observed reading is 5.38 ft., 18.8 ft. will overflow onto Highway 764)


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