The Henderson County area has been subject to flooding for hundreds of years.  The major historical flooding events, such as the 1937 flood and more recent 1997 and 2011 flood, have occurred in the low-lying land along the Ohio River, Green River and Canoe Creek basins.

Flood stage for the Ohio River at Evansville, IN is 42.0  feet as noted by river gauge at Dress Plaza.   The January 1937 Flood reached 53.75 feet and the more recent 1997 flood reached 47.52 feet, and the 2011 flood reached 46.78.

Descriptions of Flooding

  1. Flash Floods have occurred in all parts of the state as a result of excessive rainfall over short periods of time.  Flash flooding is most prevalent on small streams, generally draining areas ranging in size from a few square miles to several hundred square miles.  The most severe flash floods can roll boulders, tear out trees, destroy buildings and bridges, and scour new channels.  It is expected that the velocity of main-channel flow during a flood could be about 4.5 feet per second.  However, less serious flash floods are capable of taking lives.  As little as a foot of moving water is enough to sweep a car into deeper flood waters.  Flash floods have occurred in all months of the year, but they are most prevalent during spring and summer months
  2. River Floodingis any high overflow or inundation by water which causes or threatens damage.  This broken down into five categories of which the type of damage expected is mentioned in the individual river flood warning or statements: 
    • Minor Flood – near flood stage – only minimal damage expected.
    • Moderate Flood – secondary roads blocked – transfer to higher elevations necessary to save property.  Some evacuation may be required.
    • Major Flood – extensive inundation and damage - many primary roads and bridges closed.  Many people may be evacuated.
    • Near Record – major flooding which is expected to approach the record flood - extensive property damage and evacuations.
    • Record-Breaking Flood – major flooding which is expected to exceed the flood of record.
  3. River Basin Flooding is more common during winter and early spring – February through April.

We have developed a comprehensive Emergency Flooding Response Plan which guides us on readiness levels and response procedures as river stages increase.

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