What on Earth is a Levee?

What on Earth is a Levee? (HM27EI)

Location: Wilkes-Barre, PA 18704 Luzerne County
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Country: United States of America
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N 41° 15.075', W 75° 53.247'

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Inscription

Wyoming Valley Levee System

"And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house, and it fell; and great was the fall of it."
Matthew 7:27
Some know them as levees and others call them dikes, but the large embankments along the river were not always here. The oldest and most extensively used method of flood control, levees keep raging floodwaters from racing through people's homes and businesses. To make a levee, tons of earth and other fill material are placed and compacted to form a watertight earthen dam. Grass sod planted on the slopes prevents the soil from washing away. In sections where the river current may cause erosion, the sloping river side of the levee is armored or protected with a layer of stone called riprap.
Building levees is a science. Designing a successful levee means taking into account the river's path, foundation conditions, the kind of materials used to construct the levee embankment and armoring, if needed. Levees differ in height depending upon the severity of local flooding, costs, environmental impacts and other factors. The US Army Corps of Engineers, Baltimore District, built the first levees along the Susquehanna River in the late 1930s, following the Wyoming Valley's devastating 1936 flood. Tropical Storm Agnes in 1972 led the Corps to enlarge them and add



new ones.
While a levee's primary goal is to shield a community from flooding, more often, it offers walking, jogging, biking and bird-watching opportunities. But it stands ready to hold back the waters whenever the river grows angry.
[Illustrations, from top to bottom, read]
· Typical levee embankment profile
· Typical floodwall profile. Where there is not enough land area to build a levee of sufficient height a concrete or steel floodwall provides the needed flood protection.
· Placing fill to build the Swoyersville-Forty Fort levee, 1953.
· Aerial view of South Wilkes-Barre showing some homes almost completely submerged during the 1972 flood. Photo by Sam Salutsky.
· View of Kirby Park, Nesbitt Park and Kingston during the 1936 flood.
Details
HM NumberHM27EI
Tags
Placed ByDelaware & Lehigh National Heritage Corridor and Others
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Sunday, May 6th, 2018 at 7:02pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18T E 425647 N 4567028
Decimal Degrees41.25125000, -75.88745000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 41° 15.075', W 75° 53.247'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds41° 15' 4.5" N, 75° 53' 14.82" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)570
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling East
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 150-160 Market St, Wilkes-Barre PA 18704, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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