Three East Kentucky Flood Walls Found To Be At Risk Of Failing

By: Jeff Allen Email
By: Jeff Allen Email

Federal officials say there are more than one hundred levees across the country that are at risk of failing when flood waters threaten, three of them are in Eastern Kentucky.

Pineville Mayor Bob Madon remembers the exact moment back in 1977 when flood waters ran right over the city's old flood wall.

"All at once came the water and it was running up Kentucky Avenue," Madon said. "Probably the worst flood ever."

But since then, Pineville has been protected by a better flood wall. Now the Army Corp of Engineers says that flood wall is considered unacceptable.

"That concrete wall protects the city of Pineville from flood waters, but Pineville city officials tell me they've been told they need to remove trees so their roots won't undermine the levee, so they've been chopping down several trees," Madon said.

But Pineville's mayor believes the trees actually stabilize the ground between the river and the flood wall.

"I want them to remain there to anchor this flood wall. I think I know enough about that," Madon said.

Madon says the city will have to pay over forty thousand dollars to make repairs and satisfy federal recommendations he say were prompted by what happened after Hurricane Katrina.

"Don't judge me on Katrina, don't want to clear the flood wall, but if I'm told to do so, we'll do it," Madon said.

But Madon doesn't foresee any immediate danger, nothing like what the city saw nearly 30 years ago.

In Harlan County, the mayor of Loyall says he's aware there are some problems with a levee there and says he'll do what he can to fix it.

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