Augusta levee is needless

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We don’t need the levee in downtown Augusta. I looked at data from the U.S. Geological Survey on Savannah River floods, which has figures going back to the 1700s. The record flood in 1796 was 40 feet above sea level. In the 1800s the yearly floods averaged 30.5 feet, the highest being 38.7 feet. In the 1900s floods averaged 25.6 feet, the highest being 45.1 feet.

But since the dams were built upstream, the average highest water level for the years since 1960 has been 20.5 feet, with the highest at 24.16 feet. Normally the Savannah River in Augusta averages below 16 feet above sea level, making the highest flood since 1960 4.5 feet.

For this, we have to have an unnecessary levee that both obstructs our view of the beautiful river and stifles economic development. Every other city has developed its downtown waterfront. Why not us? Call the mayor and Augusta Commission and ask them about the vision thing.

Thomas Swift, M.D.

Augusta

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Riverman1
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Riverman1 11/25/11 - 05:52 am
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Sissy Albert started a

Sissy Albert started a campaign a few years ago to tear down the levee. Bumper stickers say "Tear Down This Levee, Mr. Copenhaver."

My truck had one on the back.

Dr. Swift is absolutely right. The levee is an unneeded eyesore hindering downtown development.

Carleton Duvall
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Carleton Duvall 11/25/11 - 07:16 am
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I wonder what the cost would

I wonder what the cost would be to remove the levee and what the increase in value of the land would be after the levee is removed. Also what would happen to the homes that are built on the river side of the levee between 13th and 15th streets.

Riverman1
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Riverman1 11/25/11 - 07:23 am
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Scooby, leave alone the levee

Scooby, leave alone the levee where there is construction already such as those houses. As far as the cost, I can't see how it would cost that much to dig it up. The feds want us to pay a half million now for a safety study of the levee. That would probably pay for its removal.

Carleton Duvall
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Carleton Duvall 11/25/11 - 07:46 am
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RM1, Could be that you are

RM1, Could be that you are right. However, there is a lot of dirt to be removed. As a side note, I lived in a house on lower Broad for a short period of time during the thirties before my family decided to move back to the farm. One spring we had to vacate because of flooding. The water was backing up from east of Augusta below where the levee ended. There was about two feet of water in the middle of Broad.

Riverman1
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Riverman1 11/25/11 - 08:04 am
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Scooby, ah that was before

Scooby, ah that was before the dam was built which is really the pertinent point. The dam has eliminated the need for the levee.

Carleton Duvall
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Carleton Duvall 11/25/11 - 08:34 am
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RM1 That is right. The dam

RM1 That is right. The dam was built in the early fifties. My comment, as I said, was a side note.

Carleton Duvall
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Carleton Duvall 11/25/11 - 08:44 am
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Another side note. If we were

Another side note. If we were ever attacked by one of our enemies the destruction of the dam, I would imagine, would be a quick way to destroy Augusta and a number of surrounding towns.

Vito45
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Vito45 11/25/11 - 09:15 am
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As far as tearing it down, I

As far as tearing it down, I went as far as looking at the section between 13th and the Marriott and estimating the yardage of dirt that would need to be moved and what it might cost based on a friend who is in the dirt moving business. I don't recall now what his guesstimate was, but it really wasn't that bad. There is probably some good dirt in there that could be sold too. I guess one of the major costs is finding a place to put it all that isn't too far for trucks to go.

Vito45
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Vito45 11/25/11 - 09:16 am
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Scooby, there were some flood

Scooby, there were some flood maps available a while back that showed the flood zones with a dam break. A lot of the water would flood out into the creek beds of ColCo and into South Carolina. The long and the short is that the levee would probably create more of a bowl for downtown Augusta, causing more harm than good. Lastly, there would be no "wall" of water due to the aforementioned spreading into the country sides of SC and Ga before getting to downtown.

(this was a subject debated long and hard on the former forums 3 or 4 years back and I am just repeating he results of that- I ain't no hydrologist!! LOL)

Carleton Duvall
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Carleton Duvall 11/25/11 - 09:18 am
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Vito45, I am sure that you

Vito45, I am sure that you are right. I have no knowledge or do I want any knowledge on this matter. My poor brain is already loaded with stuff that I have learned over the last 87 years most of which is of no value. On top of that my home is at a safe 350 feet above sea level.

avidreader
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avidreader 11/25/11 - 10:10 am
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What if the dam breaks? Not

What if the dam breaks? Not likely, but possible!

Carleton Duvall
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Carleton Duvall 11/25/11 - 10:11 am
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If my memory serves me right

If my memory serves me right the city cannot remove the levee without the corps permission. Knowing the corp as well as I do it may time several lifetimes to get that permission.

bjphysics
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bjphysics 11/25/11 - 10:12 am
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take

take

Riverman1
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Riverman1 11/25/11 - 10:21 am
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Scooby, the Corps also said

Scooby, the Corps also said without us paying $400 grand for the levee inspection we couldn't keep it. Heh...okay.

Vito45
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Vito45 11/25/11 - 10:23 am
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Scooby, you are so right

Scooby, you are so right about the COE, the epitome of gumment bureaucracy.

Vito45
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Vito45 11/25/11 - 10:26 am
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Avid, read previous posts.

Avid, read previous posts. Dam break would flood downtown, and the levee would create a slow draining bowl. No wall of water though, too much land for it to drain into before getting downtown.

allhans
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allhans 11/25/11 - 10:42 am
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Would there be a great deal

Would there be a great deal more water flowing downstream if the dam was breached than there is when all the gates are wide open? It is an amazing sight if you go and see all that water pouring through, yet it doesn't' seem to affect the level of the river downstream

Riverman1
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Riverman1 11/25/11 - 10:45 am
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That is pretty dramatic when

That is pretty dramatic when the water is going out at the top of the dam. I saw that about ten years ago, too. But if all the water from top to bottom behind the dam came out at once, THAT would be something much more dramatic.

Fundamental_Arminian
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Fundamental_Arminian 11/25/11 - 10:54 am
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We don't need to have the

We don't need to have the levee or to remove it. Haven't we already built a sidewalk with exhibits on top of the levee? Why pay to remove the levee when our city's budget faces a huge shortfall? We have more important things to spend our tax dollars on.

Vito45
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Vito45 11/25/11 - 11:07 am
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Fundamental, the talk of

Fundamental, the talk of removing only applies to the undeveloped portions. It would really enhance the ability to continue developing the riverfront, all the way down to Sand Bar Ferry with high end residential and commercial.

Riverrunner30909
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Riverrunner30909 11/25/11 - 11:45 am
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I say if the dingbat, M.D.
Unpublished

I say if the dingbat, M.D. Swift who is not very Swift, pay for its dismantlement and construct every house that is put up there and personally Guarantee they and the rest of the city will not flood if so the rebuild will come out of his 1 billion dollar fund he must establish to do this. Sounds like a fair deal to cover stupidity.

crkgrdn
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crkgrdn 11/25/11 - 11:57 am
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Didn't the city have to place

Didn't the city have to place the timbers in the levee breaks during the flood of 1991?

Riverrunner30909
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Riverrunner30909 11/25/11 - 12:06 pm
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Also do not know where Mr.
Unpublished

Also do not know where Mr. Dingbat got his info but the 40 ft above sea level in Augusta, Ga is inpossible unless he knows of a really deep hole that I am unaware of. If you actually started at quote Sea Level as he states you would have to dig a deep hole to the depth of 655 ft deep at Augusta, seeing the elevation of the river at augusta is 655 ft which is 655ft above Sea Level. The other reason the Savannah River at Augusta has had lower levels since 1960 is Clark Hill Dam being built in 1949-1951.

twentieth century man
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twentieth century man 11/25/11 - 01:05 pm
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avidreader "what if the dam

avidreader "what if the dam breaks" :would there be secondary insurance consequences if the levee were to be removed re: thurmond lake dam burst scenario? were the levee to be removed, would the downtown flood plain be altered were the dam to burst and would this not possibly raise flood insurance rates in the possibly affected area? the dam burst scenario has been written about in this newspaper.

Onthebeach
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Onthebeach 11/25/11 - 03:16 pm
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Of course, let's tear down

Of course, let's tear down the levee, build some high end residential with gates at the entrances, and the average citizen will never get to see the "views" that some of you want!

Little Lamb
47856
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Little Lamb 11/25/11 - 08:16 pm
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Wow — talk about a person who

Wow — talk about a person who sees the world as half empty! I'm guessing the good doctor has never taken a walk down the Riverwalk park along the top of the levee. Talk about beautiful views. Instead, the good doctor can only see an "obstructed view." The Riverwalk Park allows strolls from the top of the levee for an elevated view (and it's handicapped accessible) and you also have a pleasant view from the lower walk at bank level. Look east and you see the river and the S.C. riverbank. Look west and you see lovely plantings of flowers, shrubs and trees. Tearing down the levee would destroy a beautiful park enjoyed by Augustans and tourists alike.

Fundamental Arminian has a good take on things — to counter Dr. Swift's assertion that we don't need the levee, Arminian correctly says that we certainly don't need to destroy it. The levee is a positive statement of Augusta's history and it has been developed into a tourism asset and a place of relaxation for Augustans.

Carleton Duvall
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Carleton Duvall 11/25/11 - 08:34 pm
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Excellent observation, Little

Excellent observation, Little Lamb. I too have enjoyed many walks down the levee. It is a sight that every Augustan should enjoy. It is my understanding from reading other comments that it is only the levee below 5th street that is considered for removal.

Little Lamb
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Little Lamb 11/26/11 - 11:50 am
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Okay, Scooby. If Dr. Swift

Okay, Scooby. If Dr. Swift is talking of removing the levee only south of 5th Street, then I guess the next step is to take Brad Owens' advice and "follow the money." Who owns the land west of the levee and south of 5th Street?

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