Flood Protection Program

Shelby has developed a flood warning system for areas in the flood hazard areas.

These warnings will be disseminated over the cable TV system and by the citywide sirens and public address system. The flood warnings system is designed to provide up to one hour advance warning of a flood hazard.

Flash Flood Watch means that flash flooding is possible within the watch area.
Flash Flood Warning means that flash flooding is imminent or has been reported in the warning area.

The 100-year floodplain is the area that has a 1% chance of flooding every year.  Shelby was one of many towns affected by flooding in 2007. That flood is considered a 500-year flood. Here is the USGS Flood Report from that event.

Smaller floods have a greater chance of occurring in any year and can still create a significant flood hazard to people and property close to the channels. Contact the Building and Zoning Department, which has a detailed map, to see if your property is in a 100-year floodplain or floodway.

In addition to a flood warning system, you can register for Water Alerts through the United States Geological Survey. These alerts can be received as a text message. The Shelby Police Department will release flood warnings and road closures through Nixle alerts, which can be received by e-mail or text message.

The United State Geological Survey’s Water Alerts:
Stream Gauge
USGS has installed a stream gauge just upstream of the Main Street Bridge. This gauge measures the height of the water in the Black Fork River. Note: 15’9” is when the water hits the Main Street bridge. You can monitor the height of the river and set an alert  for when the river reaches a certain level or read the gauge by clicking here.  If you need assistance in setting the alert, please call the Floodplain Manager at 419-342-3600.

Rain Gauge
USGS has a rain gauge at the Black Fork River.  This gauge measures the amount of rainfall for any particular timeframe. You can view the gauge and set an alert for particular rainfall events by clicking here.

Flood Safety Tips
•    Know the flood warning alarms and procedures.
•    Plan escape routes to higher ground.
•    During times of heavy rainfall, monitor the level of water in drainage ways. Stay tuned to radio or TV for possible flood warnings.
•    Evacuate flood hazard areas in times of impending floods or when advised.
•    Do not attempt to cross a flooding stream on foot or by car. If your car stalls in high water, abandon it immediately and seek higher ground.
•    Keep children away from flood waters, ditches, culverts and storm drains.
•    Be cautious at night

Additional resources and tips can be found at FloodSmart.gov.

Floodplain Management

In December 2012, Federal Emergency Management Agency showcased the City of Shelby for its floodplain management work as well as its redevelopment efforts in a national case study called, “Shelby, Ohio: The Economic Upside of Mitigation.

The case study of a Flood Plain Relocation Project at Soldiers Grove Wisconsin is a perfect example of what could provide relief in Shelby.

The City’s efforts depend on your cooperation and assistance. Here is how you can help:

  • Do not dump or throw anything into ditches or streams. Dumping in our ditches and streams is a violation of Shelby City Ordinance 660.12 and may carry a fine of up to $500.00. A plugged channel cannot carry water and the debris will cause water to back up at some point in the waterway.
  •  If your property is next to a ditch or stream, please do your part and keep the banks clear of brush and debris. Assistance from the City may be available to help remove major blockages such as downed trees.
  • If you see dumping or debris in ditches or streams please contact the Office of the Mayor at 419-347-5131 and report it.
  • Always check with the Building and Zoning Department before you build on, alter, grade or fill your property. A permit is required for filling and grading in Shelby.

Flood Insurance
Homeowner’s insurance policies will not cover losses due to flooding. Shelby participates in the National Flood Insurance Program that makes flood insurance available to everyone in the City. For many people, their home and its contents represent their greatest investment. We strongly urge you to consider flood insurance to protect yourself from devastating losses due to flooding. Information about flood insurance can be obtained from your insurance agent. You do not have to live in the floodplain to qualify for insurance. Property owners can insure their buildings and contents and renters can insure their possessions. Just because your house has not flooded in the recent past does not mean that you are safe.

There is a five-day waiting period before a flood insurance policy takes effect. A flood Insurance Rate Map Determination can be obtained from the Building and Zoning Department at no charge by contacting them at 419-347-4889. Copies of FEMA Elevation Certificate on all buildings constructed in the floodplain since 1992 are available at the Building and Zoning Office.

Flood insurance rate maps and flood protection references are available to be reviewed at the Marvin Memorial Library.

The City of Shelby participates in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) Community Rating System(CRS).  This is a voluntary incentive program that recognizes and encourages community floodplain management activities that exceed the minimum NFIP requirements.

As a result, flood insurance premium rates are discounted to reflect the reduced flood risk resulting from the community actions meeting the three goals of CRS:

1)  Reduce flood damage to insurable property;
2)  Strengthen and support the insurance aspects of the NFIP, and
3)  Encourage a comprehensive approach to floodplain management.

In 2012, The City of Shelby was awarded with a Class 8 rating.  The award stated, “The community has undertaken a series of meaningful activities to protect its citizens from losses caused by flooding and has significantly exceeded the requirements for NFIP participation and effective floodplain management.” As a result of this award, resident of the City of Shelby receive a 10% discount on flood insurance.

As part of this service, the city will provide floodplain determinations and has a record of elevation certificates. The city also has a library of FEMA publications and can provide copies.

Rain Gauges in Shelby


Joseph C. Gies, C.F.M., Zoning Inspector
43 W. Main St.
Shelby, OH 44875

Office Hours:
Monday-Friday 8am – 4pm