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Relief Well Project for River

October 11th, 2012 - By Charles Choate

A Memphis District Corps of Engineers project in Fulton County, Kentucky is bringing much needed pressure relief for the Mississippi River levee system there.

Corps contractors are now working on the “Island 8 Relief Well Project”, designed to reduce the chance of a levee breach.

Fulton County Levee Board Chairman David Weatherly told KYTN News, that the soon to be installed wells will divert river water through a channel of ditches, while preserving the sand and dirt material that lies underneath the levee system.

Levee board officials, and the Corps of Engineers, were threatened last year by a large amount of “sand boils” that appeared during the record river flooding.

Weatherly said the installation of the 12 wells will now help alleviate that critical issue.

The levee board chairman also added that portions of northwest Tennessee, including Lake, Obion and Dyer County, will also benefit from the security of the installation of the wells.

Memphis District Commander, Colonel Vernie Reichling, was in Fulton County Tuesday touring the work on the project, which has been ongoing for nearly one month.

Weatherly said the completion of the wells project will be based on winter weather conditions and the stage of the river during the season.