Vincennes has started the last leg of a project aimed at improving the safely of and certifying the Wabash River levee.
According to Mayor Joe Yochum, the issue is not with the levee itself, but the relief wells.
Thirty relief wells were installed in the 1950’s, and haven’t been replaced since.
In order for the levee to be safety complaint with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, those wells need to be replaced by a steel wall that would stop water from seeping under the levee.
Yochum says the levee is safe and he has no fear of it breaching, this has to do with certification, “If this levee isn’t kept certified it would be just the same as if there’s no levee there at all.”
If the levee isn’t FEMA compliant the city of Vincennes would be labeled as a flood plain, which could become expensive for home owners and businesses.
“Even if we didn’t keep our levee certified the residents that have a mortgage on their property, or businesses that have a mortgage, would most definitely have to have flood insurance,” said Yochum. “And that would not be cheap.”
Yochum says there is still some planning to be done to figure out how to fund this five million dollar project, which he hopes will be finished by the end of this year.