The recent flooding in 2007, 2011 and 2013 has impacted the City of Shelby and the residents of Richland County. The damage to the city of Shelby was extensive, causing personal and economic hardship, requiring relocation for many businesses and demolition of over 50 buildings. Farms surrounding Shelby suffered, too, with crop damage and loss of land due to channel bank erosion. Flooded roads mean people can’t get to work, and emergency responders struggle to get to flood victims and transport them to safety.
The elevation of the land in the Upper Black Fork watershed changes rapidly south of the City of Shelby and then flattens out considerably through the City and further downstream along the Black Fork. As tributary channels join with the Black Fork upstream of and within the City of Shelby, the combined flows from the upstream watershed overwhelm the channel and adjacent land areas are susceptible to flooding.
Existing roadway bridges restrict flood flows and flood waters overtop roadways and directly impact homes, businesses and public infrastructure. These flood events directly impact residents and businesses, and also impact everyone who lives in the surrounding area who relies on those businesses and the public services offered by the City of Shelby and Richland County.