Levee argument is all wet

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Channeling President Ronald Reagan’s exclamation about the Berlin Wall, letter writer Tom Swift cries, “Tear down that levee!” (“Remove levee and prosper,” Augusta Chronicle Aug. 1).

Swift erroneously writes that the Savannah River rose only a few feet, while in fact it rose in some places over 15 feet, a figure not to be ignored. For over a week, water covered over standing docks, flower beds and decorative grasses.

Furthermore, without the levee, the river would have invaded downtown.

Swift is devoted to the wrong crusade, claiming outsize gains for the city if the levee is destroyed, claims that are pie in the sky; the destruction of the levee would not particularly benefit our waterfront. We have an attractive Riverwalk, which needs only to be cared for, secured and enhanced.

On a recent trip to Guayaquill, Ecuador, we strolled on their river walk, also built up from the shore but developed with interesting points of information, imaginative sculptures relating to their history, and architecturally attractive seating. It then led directly to an outstanding art museum.

Wouldn’t it be splendid to build a structure leading directly from the Riverwalk, a new structure dedicated exclusively to The Morris Museum of Art, deserving of this honor and a true asset to our city?

That would be a vast improvement for the Riverwalk and Augusta.

Gloria R. Greenbaum


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agustinian 08/05/13 - 06:15 am

I live near the river. While the water was higher than it has been in a long time, the highest it got was the floor of the Jessye Norman amphitheater which is way below the point it would enter the city. The only property flooded on the SC side was down river well passed Augusta where there are no levy's on either side. Where it flooded a few properties on the SC side downriver the GA side was not flooded.

There does seem to be a missed opportunity in developing tourism and downtown revitalization around the river. Maybe the levy doesn't need to be torn down, but a canal-type feature through the city might be a nice improvement and attract more business and people downtown.

Riverman1 08/05/13 - 07:46 am
Well, I did my bit to get the

Well, I did my bit to get the levee removed by helping Sister Albert with the bumper stickers years ago. But as Frank and Sister both have come to realize that thing will never be removed. It's probably best to work to incorporate it somehow into future development. It's not that it's needed for flood control, but it's almost impossible to remove with all that's been built.

David Parker
David Parker 08/05/13 - 09:57 am
Besides, where would you

Besides, where would you bring your Chevy right?

dichotomy 08/05/13 - 11:36 am
Oh, don't give up yet. A lot

Oh, don't give up yet. A lot of powerful people own that real estate and whatever THEY want to happen with the levee will eventually happen......at the taxPAYERS expense.......just like the hotel, TEE, parking deck, etc. Just give them time to get the right people in place and the right votes bought, horse traded, bribed, and THEN you will find out what their plans are for their riverfront property and the levee. When the planets align and the moon is in the right phase all will be revealed and possible flooding won't even be an issue......it will ALL be about DOWNTOWN development for the good of the Southeast Richmond County taxpayer.....and somewhere in the deal WE will get a new B-ball court.

Sweet son
Sweet son 08/05/13 - 12:19 pm
For whatever it is worth Ms. Greenbaum is the wife of

Lowell Greenbaum, Chairman of the RC Democratic Party. The Greenbaums live on Waters Edge Dr. Thus her interest in the levee, I guess.

itsanotherday1 08/05/13 - 07:33 pm
Mehinks the writer does have

Mehinks the writer does have a good grasp of math. River was at or close to historic highs for 60 years, and nowhere near the height required to flood downtown.

Little Lamb
Little Lamb 08/05/13 - 09:25 pm

Gloria Greenbaum asked:

Wouldn’t it be splendid to build a structure leading directly from the Riverwalk, a new structure dedicated exclusively to The Morris Museum of Art, deserving of this honor and a true asset to our city?

Question number one: What honor?

Observation number one: The Morris Museum of Art already has a door that opens onto the upper Riverwalk promenade.

Question number two: What does Gloria want, a funicular railway where people can pay a couple of dollars to ride up from the lower Riverwalk promenade into the lobby of the Morris Museum of Art?

Deserving of this honor? I don't think so.

nocnoc 08/05/13 - 09:17 pm
When ARC has the $$$$ to remove Levee let them.

It will cost millions to strip it off and dispose of the dirt.
Fred can arrange a Levee tax.

OH according to my family that worked on the levee generations ago.
Some of the items used as fill may be HAZ-MAT also. Now we have the EPA interested and additional costs for disposal.

But don't made the rest of the COUNTY fund another DOWNTOWN ONLY Project just to keep Downtown stumbling along.

There is too much that needs mending on the Southside and at least a 1/3 of the property taxes come from Dist 6 & 8, that deserve more than we are getting in return.

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