August 29, 2006
As Ernesto churns towards the U.S., town officials feel confident that their Levee System can withstand Ernesto's wrath. The town of Scottsville is making sure they are ready for the storm.
The town of Scottsville is no stranger to flooding, especially remnants of hurricanes. So after Hurricanes Camille and Agnes left their devastating mark on Scottsville, town officials knew a levee system had to be put in place.
"Retired Honorable Mayor Raymond Thacker started the project working with the Federal Government and the State Government to protect the town of Scottsville and the historic structures that lie within the flood zone," explained Tim Karr, Scottsville's Levee Director.
Completed in the late 1980's, the town can now be protected up to a flood of 34 feet. When water rises to about 21 feet, temporary street closures are put into place for added protection.
"Which are aluminum logs interlocking, and they're installed once the water starts to rise," Karr continued.
Most people think it's the James River that floods the town of Scottsville, but actually it's a creek located closer to the center of town.
"Once the James River starts to rise and we close off the river from the town, then it's the creek we have to keep in check," Karr explained.
As Ernesto continues churning towards Florida, Tim and his crew are keeping an eye on its path. The further west of the area the storm tracks, the more trouble there is for Scottsville.
"We watch everything up river, the Lynchburg area, anything on the Maury, Tye, or Rockfish rivers would affect Scottsville," said Karr.
So if and when Ernesto's wrath is felt in Scottsville, the town is prepared.
"The Levee is in a constant state of readiness, on a day to day basis we are either checking the river or maintaining some aspect of it to ensure the town is protected," concluded Karr.
The Levee system doesn't cost the town too much money because it's mostly run by volunteers.