Southeastern Section - 54th Annual Meeting (March 17–18, 2005)

Paper No. 7
Presentation Time: 3:20 PM


KIEFER, John D. and LYNCH, Michael J., Kentucky Geological Survey, Univ of Kentucky, 228 Mining & Mineral Resources Bldg, Lexington, KY 40506-0107,

Landslides are ubiquitous throughout Kentucky, and northern Kentucky has some of the highest landslide damage per capita in the country. In many areas the damage tends to be recurring and costly. The Kentucky Geological Survey has been working with the Kentucky Division of Emergency Management and the Federal Emergency Management Agency to develop a model program for buying out properties irreparably damaged by landslides, in which any effort would probably just postpone future failures. The program is similar to the program that buys out properties in floodprone areas that are continually damaged by flooding, in lieu of flood insurance continually paying for damages incurred.

In landslides, however, there are a number of differences. Is the damage imminent and likely to be permanent? Is the damage actually caused by landslides? Who buys, who owns, and who is responsible for the property? This paper examines three cases and some of the issues involved and discusses why some properties qualify while others do not. Obviously, all the properties damaged by landslides cannot be purchased. This is especially true since we have used up many of the more desirable building sites and are moving into those that are more problematic. However, it is hoped that this program will make people more aware of the insidious nature of landslides and the danger of building in landslide-prone areas.