Vincennes seeks levee certification

The city of Vincennes is looking to be recertified by FEMA.

Posted: Aug 22, 2018 5:49 PM
Updated: Aug 22, 2018 5:54 PM

VINCENNES, Ind. (WTHI) - Vincennes' river walk has become a destination in the last few years. Whether it's food trucks, festivals, or just walk on a nice day. But running along the river walk is the city's lifeline.

Levee superintendent Hunter Pinnell says, "The Vincennes levee was built in the mid-1950's. There were three sections built along the north end of town and along the river. And there were two more sections planned for the south end of town that were never completed due to what we believe are right of way issues."

Completed in 1960 the levee was essentially left as is.

Pinnell says, "There was never a funding mechanism set up to fund ongoing operation and maintenance. And there were a lot of things that kind of slipped through the cracks."

In 2006, FEMA began updating their flood maps. Requiring Vincennes to get certified. The city is now working to make sure the levee is up to code.

Pinnell explains, "They don't want to show any levee on the maps as providing more protection than it actually provides."

Currently, Vincennes is labeled as a floodplain that is protected by a levee. If the city does not prove that the levee adequately protects the city, residents would be required to purchase flood insurance. Pinnell believes that those changes won't be necessary.

Pinnell says, "Our hope is that in the end, we'll go on just as we always have and people will see no change in their flood insurance."

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