EOC expediting repairs on high-risk Illinois levee

Published June 19, 2017
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Louisville District Emergency Operations Center personnel continue support on an Illinois levee which sustained damage during the May 2017 Wabash River flooding. 

The Russell-Allison-Ambraw Levee system is a non-federally operated and maintained levee system in Lawrence County, Illinois. The system sustained damage where an existing wing wall used to support a drainage structure and a landslide adjacent to this structure were in an active state of failure. This structure and adjacent levee embankment have a high probability of failure if another flood of the same magnitude were to threaten the area. 

“Even though it was late in the event, we determined an area of high risk of failing at the Russell-Allison Levee,” said Chuck Oliver, emergency operations chief at the Corps in Louisville. 

The Corps had worked with the levee local sponsor to stabilize the level during the flood event and is creating the project information report to complete contracting and construction before the end of the season.

“We are working as a team to show the community—the Corps delivers and cares for the communities we serve,” Oliver said. 

The process includes sending the inspection report to the Great Lakes and Ohio River Division detailing the damage to the levee system along with potential alternatives and associated benefits to cost ratio for repair. Once approved at the division office, this information will be sent to the emergency operations counterpart at headquarters for final approval. At that point, funding would be provided to the district to be used to assemble plans and specifications for the repairs. 

The Corps EOC team monitored levees in the area during the EOC activation April 28 through May 15, 2017. The Corps received funding to initiate the process for the levee repair work and continues on an accelerated schedule for the repairs.