Hamilton City Levee History
Hamilton City’s original levee, commonly referred to as the J Levee, has been a vital part of the community landscape since the early 1900s. The J levee was not built to any formal engineering standards and does not meet U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) or any other levee construction standards. The existing levee is extremely susceptible to seepage and erosion and could fail even if river levels rise well below the top of the levee.
Although the J Levee has historically passed several high flow events, significant flood fighting efforts have been required each time. Key points from the Feasibility Study completed by the USACE in 2004 are as follows:
- Extensive flood fighting efforts were necessary in 1983, 1986, 1995, 1997 and 1998 to avoid failure of the J Levee.
- Residents were evacuated six times in 20 years: 1983, 1986, 1995 (twice), 1997 and 1998.
A new levee, built according to formal engineering standards, is necessary to reduce the risk of damage to property, buildings, and crops during a flood event.