During a major flooding emergency, city services will be inundated with requests for help, and you may have to wait several hours or days before receiving assistance. The best way to deal with flooding is before the fact by developing a flood prevention plan for your home. If you have the necessary information and equipment to deal with a flooding threat to your home, you will be able to manage the situation while you are waiting for help to arrive.
- Purchase flood insurance.
- Electrical components and your furnace, water heater, washer, dryer and other basement appliances should be raised 6"-12" off the floor.
- Install backflow preventers.
- Waterproof basement walls.
- Cut drywall to 1/2" to 1" off the floor in your basement.
- Purchase a submersible pump.
- Plug basement floor drains.
- Remove valuables from your basement.
- Videotape contents of your home.
- Consider purchasing a generator that can power your sump pump in the case of a power failure.
During a flood
- Listen for emergency instructions through your radio or TV.
- Prepare to move to higher ground if your area is prone to flash flooding.
- Raise furniture and other valuables 6" off the ground.
- Call LexCall at 311 or (859) 425-2255 to report your problem. If the Emergency Operations Center (EOP) is open, call (859) 258-3970 for information and guidance.
- Do not attempt to walk through any water if it is flowing or if you are unsure of its depth.
- Remember that only the utility company or LFUCG Fire Personnel can disconnect electricity or gas in an emergency.
- Record damage to your property and belongings.
- Clean and disinfect all wet items (see clean-up tips). Mud left from floodwater can contain sewage and chemicals, so wear boots and gloves and wash your hands after coming in contact with floodwater.
- Contact your flood insurance provider.
- Watch for information on where and when to report damage to local officials.
- Always wear gloves and wash your hands frequently when cleaning a flooded home.
- Use a mop or Shop-Vac to remove remaining water from your home.
- Disinfect everything that floodwater has touched.
- Be prepared to throw out belongings that cannot be safely disinfected (carpet, mattresses, upholstered items).
- Dry out your home by opening doors and windows to allow fresh air into your home.
- Circulate the air with fans.
- Run a dehumidifier.
- Remember that LFUCG Personnel are not permitted to restore electricity or gas service to your home. Call Kentucky Utilities at 1-800-981-0600, Bluegrass Energy at 1-888-546-4243, Columbia Gas at 1-800-432-9515 or your local provider for restoration of utilities.
- Take pictures of the damage to your home and belongings to use when making a claim to your flood insurance provider or during a declared disaster. Keep receipts for any expenses or repairs.
How can LFUCG help?
- The Division of Water Quality can make flood-proofing suggestions to homeowners with chronic stormwater flooding. Please contact Water Quality at (859) 425-2400 for more information.
- During a flood, call LexCall at 311 or (859) 425-2255. If the Mayor has declared a state of emergency for a flooding event, the city can assist residents in eliminating sanitary sewer overflows into basements, crawlspaces or living quarters. Flooding assistance (pumping water) can only be provided in instances where two or more inches of water are entering an area that contains a gas appliance or is a primary cooking or sleeping area. In addition, the city provides limited assistance cleaning for sanitary sewer overflows.
- For a stormwater flooding incident, a private plumbing contractor should be contacted for pumping services or cleanup. This service will be at the homeowner's expense.
About flood insurance
Most insurance policies do not cover flood damage. However, any property owner in Fayette County can purchase flood insurance because Lexington participates in FEMA's National Flood Insurance Program. Homeowners and those with rental insurance can purchase a policy from their insurance provider to protect against loss sustained to property during a flooding event. Check with your insurance provider for details on what is covered under flood insurance and for rate information. Your property does not have to be located in a floodplain for your to purchase a flood insurance policy.
Purchasing flood insurance is among the best steps you can take to prepare yourself for a flooding event.