Levee repairs underway means community at ease
Some Twin Tier communities can rest a little easier now that a levee is being repaired, protecting people from rising water. Since the 2011 floods in Athens, the levee on the Chemung River has sat untouched. YNN's Katie Husband says that changes this week and there are more improvements to come.
To view our videos, you need to
install Adobe Flash 9 or above. Install now.
Then come back here and refresh the page.
ATHENS, Pa. -- The images from the 2011 floods are unforgettable.
"We lost about one hundred feet of the levee here on the water side, it actually seeped through from the land side and lost the water side and then we actually had a landslide for about another three hundred feet," said Mark Burgess, Athens Borough, manager.
For months the levee off of Elm Street along the Chemung River has sat unattended. Now, a $2.2 million project will protect people living near the water.
"Take the area that collapsed right out, take the area that slid out and replace it with suitable material and they're going to stabilize the toe of the levee area with the R4 riprap stone," said Burgess.
As neighbors and business owners were rebuilding, people were worried the water would breach the already broken down levee.
"Whether it was going to scour again because there were other high water events that led the people to believe that this thing was going to wash out completely, that was in the back of their minds, naturally," said George Whyte, Athens Borough, mayor.
Now that the levee repair project is underway a year and a half later it has finally put a community at ease, but Athens officials say there's still work that needs to be done over by the Susquehanna River.
"Currently, the Army Corp of Engineers is in the process of completing a feasibility study to determine if a levee is, I guess, acceptable or if a levee is in the plans to build," said Burgess.
Leaders expect the results from the feasibility study before the end of the year.
Part of the multi million dollar project is being paid for by an 80-percent match from the Army Corps of Engineers. Work on the Chemung River is expected to be completed by the end of May.