Concordia levee work completed

Published 12:00 am Monday, November 27, 2000

JONESVILLE, La. – For two years, the Black River had been trying to eat away at the levee that protects Concordia Parish, but now the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has fought back.

The Corps has just finished placing 30,000 tons of stone along a 2,100-foot stretch of the Black River just south of Jonesville on the Concordia Parish side of the river.

&uot;If the Corps hadn’t done this, the river would have eventually washed out the levee,&uot; said Jerry McDonald, Vidalia-based area engineer for the Corps of Engineers. &uot;Without that levee, that area would flood every three to five years.&uot;

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A team of workers from the agency’s Vidalia, Monroe and Vicksburg offices repaired the levee adjacent to the Corps’ Tensas-Cocodrie Pumping Plant.

Good weather and some new equipment helped the 16-worker crew finish two weeks ahead of schedule.

The levee and pumping plant protect more than 55,000 acres. Of that land, about 30,000 acres is developed, said Wayland Hill, a water control technician based at the Corps’ Vicksburg district headquarters.

&uot;During a higher 10-year flood event, 150,000 acres would be flooded,&uot;&160;Hill added.

This is not the first time in recent history that the Corps has repaired the levee, said Project Engineer Jimmy Coldiron.

&uot;Two years ago, (the river) almost got into the levee, so we did an emergency repair on 1,800 feet of its bank,&uot;&160;Coldiron said. &uot;This year, it had encroached even closer to the toe of the levee.&uot;

&uot;If there were a major flood event, water would be backed into these towns,&uot;&160;said Larry Banks, who serves as hydraulics chief for the Corps of Engineers.

&uot;The whole economy of that area depends on that levee.&uot;