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Project Description

The Levisa Fork Basin has been a source of many damaging floods in Floyd County dating back to cases since 1861. The City of Prestonsburg, Kentucky has been the victim of 20 in this period of time with some of the major floods occurring in 1862, 1901, 1957, 1963, 1977, and 1984. On April 6, 1977, Floyd County suffered major damage as the Levisa Fork basin caused an estimated $198 million (October 99 price level) in damages. The Energy and Water Development Appropriations Act of 1981 (Public Law 96-367) came into affect as a direct result of the 1977 flood and provided authorization for development of flood protection measures for the Levisa and Tug Forks of the Big Sandy River. Through Section 202 of this legislation, the Secretary of the Army was directed, through the Chief of Engineers, to design and construct flood damage reduction measures in areas impacted by the 1977 flood.

Due to the size of the area affected in Floyd County by the Levisa Fork basin in the 1977 flood, the county was split into three different project phases. The Detailed Project Report for Phase I include Prestonsburg and the Lower Levisa Fork. Phase I alone includes approximately 1300 study structures. In correspondence to Section 202 of the General Plan, the economic, environmental, social, and engineering impacts of each alternative were analyzed with a final selection of the preferred plan.

While the project is limited to the residential, commercial, and municipal structures affected by the 1977 flood, the level of flood protection along the Levisa Fork in Floyd County will be the 1977 inundation limit or the 100-year flood event, whichever is greater for nonstructural. Floodwall alternatives will be evaluated at the Standard Project Flood (SPF) level.

Project Name in Appropriations Bill: Levisa and Tug Forks of the Big Sandy River and Upper Cumberland River Project

Authorization: Energy and Water Development Appropriations Act of 1981 (P.L. 96-367), Section 202; as amended by Supplemental Appropriations Act of 1982 (P.L. 97-257).

Project Sponsor: Floyd County Fiscal Court; KY GOLD (financing partner)

Project Stakeholders: Residents, businesses and public facilities within Floyd County

Project Location: The project encompasses flood prone areas along the mainstem and tributaries of the Levisa Fork in Floyd County, Kentucky,.

Project Background: April 1977 flooding within Floyd County, Kentucky, along the main stem Levisa Fork and tributaries, caused siginificant damages to residential and commercial structures and critical infrastructure. Because of the size of this project, the planning effort has been divided into three separate projects. DPR 1 includes incorporated Prestonsburg and lower Levisa Fork. The proposed project for Detailed Project Report (DPR)1 would protect 955 structures, of which 644 would be protected by a floodwall. DPR 2 includes upper Levisa Fork and DPR 3 will include the remaining tributaries. Each DPR includes appropriate NEPA activities.


Project Status: Planning activities for the draft DPR 1 are complete. The draft DPR 1 was submitted for review and approval to Division and Headquarters in March 2007.  Division and Headquarters has reviewed and commented.  Review comments have been addressed and awaiting approval


Fiscal Year 2011 Activities (Oct 10 - Sep 11):

  • Respond to Division/Headquarters draft DPR1 review comments and obtain report approval
  • Continue public involvement and sponsor coordination

Contact Info

Project Manager:  304-399-5322