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Flood Inundation Maps - Hopkinsville, Kentucky

Flood-Inundation Maps of the South Fork Little River at Hopkinsville, Kentucky

The City of Hopkinsville, Kentucky, is an urban community with an estimated population of 31,577 (U.S. Census Bureau, 2010). Hopkinsville is the largest incorporated city in Christian County, Kentucky. Christian County has experienced 18 major flood events within the last 100 years, most notably in March 1997, when major flooding caused over $75 million in damages and destroyed more than 450 homes (City of Hopkinsville, 2012). The majority of flood damages have occurred along the North Fork Little River and the South Fork Little River, which both flow through the city. Flood plains within Hopkinsville are moderately developed and contain a mix of rural, residential, and commercial buildings.

The South Fork Little River is in southwestern Kentucky in what is locally called the Mississippi Plateau or Pennyrile Region. The drainage area ranges from 35.9 mi2 at station 03437495 (upstream extent of the study reach) to 49 mi2 at the downstream extent of the study reach. The headwaters originate in unincorporated Christian County, and the river generally flows southwestward before entering the city limits. There is no major tributary to the South Fork Little River that joins the main stem as it flows through Hopkinsville, but there are two minor tributaries, South Fork Little River Tributary and Rock Bridge Branch, that join the main stem approximately 4 and 5 mi, respectively, south of Hopkinsville and outside the study reach. The basin terrain changes gradually from steep to gently rolling hills northeast of the city to gently rolling hills to flat southwest of the city. The study reach is approximately 8.9 mi long, has an average top-of-bank channel width of about 50 ft, and has an average channel slope of 4 ft/mi. The basin is still undergoing suburban and urban development; population increased 4.9 percent (from 30,089 to 31,577) between 2000 and 2010 (U.S. Census Bureau, 2010). The main channel within the study reach has seven major road crossings or other structures that lie within the channel or the adjacent flood plain.

Digital flood-inundation maps for an 8.9-mile reach of South Fork Little River at Hopkinsville, Kentucky, were created by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) in cooperation with the City of Hopkinsville Community Development Services .

These flood-inundation maps, along with online information regarding current stages from USGS streamgage and forecasted stages from the National Weather Service (NWS), provide emergency management and local residents with critical information for flood response activities such as evacuations, road closures, and post-flood recovery efforts.

The inundation maps depict estimates of the areal extent and depth of flooding corresponding to selected water levels (stages) at the USGS streamgage at South Fork Little River at Highway 68 By-Pass at Hopkinsville, Kentucky.

Flood-Inundation Maps for an 8.9-Mile Reach of the South Fork Little River at Hopkinsville, Kentucky [U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Map 3242, 13 map sheets, 8-p. pamphlet]

U.S. Geological Survey Flood Inundation Mapping Science

US Geological Survey Flood Inundation Mapper

Hopkinsville Surface and Stormwater Utility

map of Hopkinsville depicting flooding

Flood-inundation map for Hopkinsville, Kentucky, corresponding to a stage of 21.50 feet and an elevation of 541.40 feet (NAVD 88)at U.S. Geological Survey streamgage number 03437495 South Fork Little River at Highway 68 By-Pass. [Click to view larger image]

Streamgages at and/or near Hopkinsville, KY

Additional information about the Hopkinsville Flood Inundation project can be obtained from Jeremiah Lant, US Geological Survey, Kentucky Water Science Center, (phone) 502-493-1949, (email)

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