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Work begins to prevent Livingston flooding

By Pat Thomann Livingston Ledger

SMITHLAND - Work began in early June to correct a problem that the residents of Jennings and Depot Roads in Livingston County's Lake City have had to deal with for a long time.

Livingston County Magistrate Franklin Walker has been working for more than a year with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to try to acquire a grant to pay for needed improvements that would alleviate flooding on those roads when the Cumberland River below Barkley Dam rises.

Although a grant never came through for the project, Mike Looney with the Corps of Engineers contacted Walker and informed him that the corps finally had available funding for the project. The estimated cost of the project is $453,000.

The first phase of the project began in early June with the installation of a large drain line that would divert water into the Cumberland River. The only thing left to finalize that project is the installation of screens to prevent debris from getting into the lines and clogging the system.

On the discharge section of the drain line a flapper is being installed to prevent water from flowing back through the line and flooding the Depot Road area. The flapper will remain exposed and dry until water reaches approximately 318 feet.

When that happens, the flapper will be pushed into place and water will not be allowed to flow from the river back through the drain as it has done in the past. At this point, the only way flooding can occur in the affected areas is if an extremely large amount of rainfall occurs in a short period of time. However, if this occurs the county has several resources that can supply pumps to remove the water out before it becomes a problem.

"The people affected by previous flooding can now go to sleep at night knowing they are protected," Walker said.

Looney said, "This has been a good partnership with the corps, Franklin Walker and Livingston County to get this job done. Nothing is assured as far as floodwaters but we are better prepared to take care of any issues that arise."

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