US Army Corps of Engineers
Louisville District Website

Agricultural levee breaches near Daviess County, Indiana

Published March 7, 2011

A federally-constructed, locally operated and maintained, agricultural levee protecting farmland and a few farm homes in Daviess County, Ind., failed Sunday, March 6 at approximately 4 p.m., CST.

An approximately 25 foot section of the levee failed. The exact cause of the failure is unknown at this time. Levee Unit 8 is not part of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Rehabilitation and Inspection Program.

“The Corps has been talking with the Indiana State Emergency Operations Center and they are fully aware of this event,” said Steve Rager, emergency manager with the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers, Louisville. “We have not received any requests from the county for assistance related to this event.”

The National Weather Service issued a flash flood warning for the area protected by the levee until almost midnight Sunday.  A levee breach reinforces the Corps stance that while levees reduce the chance of flooding from certain events, no levee completely eliminates the risks associated with flooding.   

As precipitation continues throughout the tri-state area, the 20 reservoirs the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers operates in Indiana, Kentucky and Ohio remain at low levels and are prepared to store the runoff as needed.

For information on river or Corps lake levels in Kentucky, Indiana, or Ohio, contact the Corps Emergency Operations Center at 502-315-6912 or visit the website at www.lrl.usace.army.mil or www.lrl.usace.army.mil/wc/reports/lkreport.html for information on current lake levels.

Army Corps of Engineers’ reservoirs reduce flood damage by storing water for release only after high water downstream has been lowered. Without these reservoirs, lives and property would be at greater risk.  The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Louisville District’s lakes annually prevent approximately $215 million in flood damages.

Reservoirs are designed to hold water from the Ohio River Basin tributaries. This provides protection for communities on local streams while managing the amount of water going to the main rivers such as the Ohio River.  This system ultimately reduces crests on the Ohio River. Any release of water from the reservoirs is done in a controlled manner to prevent damages and in accordance with the design of the dam structures.