Weissport Council to see flood levee repairs in immediate future
Weissport Council is on the way to having the levee repaired.
Arland Moyer, council member, said that he had spoken with Bob Eckhart, emergency management coordinator with the Army Corps of Engineers, has told him that Weissport's flood levee repair project will begin in a few weeks.
The project is needed to save the town from potential flooding should the levee breach anytime in the future.
Council was informed last year that the costs to repair the levee is estimated to be $201,200, and that Weissport's share was $38,663. Moyer said that Weissport has secured a grant from the state for it's portion of the project funding.
The levee repair project was reviewed by the Army Corps of Engineers.
Some areas of the thick wall of dirt and rocks that surrounds Weissport on three sides was built in 1934 by Works Progress Administration (WPA) workers to save the tiny borough from the ravaging waters of the Lehigh River. A second section of levee wall was added following flood water in 1956 or 1957, said council members.
WPA employed millions of unskilled workers to carry out public works projects, including the construction of public buildings and roads.
Weissport flooded in August 1955. The events leading to the flooding began on Aug. 14 when Hurricane Connie saturated the region with a lot of rain. Then, about four or five days later, Hurricane Diane arrived as a tropical storm with more rain. The result was flooding so bad that most of the town of Weissport was evacuated.
The levee was in poor shape following the March 10-11, 2011, high-water event. Up to four inches of rain led to flooding of the Lehigh Canal, the Lehigh River, and the washing away of sections of the towpath. The Lehigh River crested at nearly 25,000 cubic feet per second in the early morning hours of Friday, March 11. The Lehigh River begins overflowing its banks at approximately 15,000 cfs. The river's flow exceeded that rate for about 12 hours, from late Thursday, March 10 to midday on Friday, March 11, 2011.
Moyer has continued to keep watch on the levee. He had noted that if there is another high water event, he was to contact the Army Corps of Engineers right away.
Moyer reported that borough workers have painted parking spaces and the cross walk. He also suggested that council put a kettle type tar buggy to seal roads.
Tim Rehrig, council member, noted that council will get its best deal by purchasing four skids of material at an approximate cost of $2,900.
"I suggest that we make a final decision at our next meeting," said Rehrig.
Council will meet at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 4, due to the Labor Day holiday.