Deanna Goodlander: The facts are, that FEMA who are the flood insurance folks have told the Core of Engineers who oversee levees that they must more stringently clear levees in order to make them less inclined to fail. After Katrina and more recently the Mississipi River levee failures they are getting more strict. If we fail to act, the entire fort grounds area will have increased rates and the insurance will not cover the full cost of replacement or repairs. With millions of dollars worth of private property, as well as, the college and wastewater plant the costs and risks will be astronomical. Fortunately even if we have to cut trees they will only be on the slope and the ones on the level can stay. More below.
Our plan is to get the mitigation plan in place, do repairs to the concrete walls, cut out the brush and smaller trees on the slope, continue to negotiate and work on repairs to the slope and where there is erosion, partner with NIC on the erosion on their property and do our best to mitigate any chance of failure of the levee.
I talked to a friend who is an geo-engineer and she said that water can travel along tree roots to weaken levees, so I can understand FEMA’s concerns. I don’t think there is anyone at City Hall who likes the idea of cutting our beautiful pine trees, I know I sure don’t, but we have to deal with this in a responsible manner. Watch the presentation with pictures that show some of the issues along the levee at the next City Council meeting and you will be able to understand more about the issue.