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Sullivan County Levee Nearly Breached

Last updated on Thursday, April 25, 2013

(SULLIVAN COUNTY) - Officials said the Sullivan County levee was near failure.

Patsy Kelly of WTHI reports that if the levee failed, State Road 154 could be washed out between Hutsonville and Graysville. So people there are taking action to put a stop to it.

People in Sullivan County remember the failure of 2005, and don't want to repeat it.

So they're out early, sandbagging.

Sandbagging will help slow the water attempting to overflow.

But this sandbagging might not have been possible, without the effort of some very unexpected community members, the Rural Community Academy.

"I thought it would be a good experience because at our schools we really like to work on helping the community, we try to be people-oriented, so I thought this would be the perfect job for us," said Abby Howard, 6th grade science teacher.

INDOT's Cher Elliott said in 2008, the area had a scare.

They thought the levee would breach.

At this point, officials are just preparing in case of the worst possible scenario.

"We can't control mother nature. we really just have no idea...Something that was asked of us by local authorities were to ask for reduced speeds because the traffic as it's crossing the structure could cause vibrations. If they could reduce speed limits, that could reduce vibrations coming from the bridge, which could cause issues with the levee," said Elliott.

But the kids still came away with a valuable learning experience.

"(Are the kids enjoying it?) Yes. There were kids that were wearing shorts for some reason, and they thought they wanted to come out."

Howard said this is a good learning experience for the kids, not only in regards to the levee, but in good character.

"It's just good to learn hard work for their future," said Howard. "A lot of them were really excited just to be helping, I think that was important for them."

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