TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) - When a river like the Wabash rises, it spills out of its banks and floods low-lying areas along the river. Centuries of flooding like the ones southern Indiana are experiencing have created the rich farmland that lies along the river.
In some cases levees have been constructed to protect farmland from flooding, like the levee near Prairieton, but levees can fail and wreak havoc for those who thought the levee would protect them.
- For a video demonstration from Kevin Orpurt on how a levee works, click play on the video.
Eddy Adams, District Conservationist, says, "The river's been up for so long there will be a line through the levee. It's kind of like Jello, the firmness of the soil structure is not like it would be if it it was dry."
Levees have already failed in Lawrence County, Ill., near Prairieton, Ind., and also in Daviess County.
Mark Twain wrote, "The river will always have its own way, no engineering skill can persuade it to do otherwise".
As long as the river flows, the danger of levee failure will be possible.
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