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Do You Know Your Levee Terms?

(Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Anytime there is a situation with weather – or in our current situation, flooding – there are always terms that we hear, but may not fully understand. Don’t feel bad. Everyone is a little clueless from time to time, some of us just have better ways of showing it than others, lol. With that said, the next time you encounter a deep conversation on levees and flooding, we want to make sure you are right up there with the big dogs. So we have provided the ultimate Levee cheat sheet.

Well actually, it’s just the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers ‘Levee Terms & Definitions’ from their Levee Safety Program. But hey, knowledge is power!

Levee: An earthen embankment, floodwall, or structure along a water course whose purpose is flood risk reduction or water conveyance.

Breach: A rupture, break or gap whose cause has not been determined.

Overtopping: Water levels exceed the crest elevation of a levee and flow into protected areas.  Levee may be damaged but not compromised.  Flooding occurs from overflow/overwash (waves) and other sources.

Levees types:

  • Federally authorized levee: Typically designed and built by the Corps in cooperation with a local sponsor then turned over to a local sponsor to operate, maintain, repair and replace the levee.
  • Non-federally authorized levee: Designed and built by a non-federal agency, which is responsible for the operation, maintenance, repair and replacement of the levee.
  • Private or corporate-owned levee: Designed and built by a private citizen, company or other public entity, which is responsible for the operation, maintenance, repair and replacement of the levee.  The Corps has no responsibility for private or corporate-owned levees.

Check out all the ‘Levee Terms & Definitions here.

[via U.S. Army Corps of Engineers]

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