Welcome to the official Levee Authority page for the City of Evansville

1300 Waterworks Road
Evansville, Indiana 47713-3101
Phone: (812) 435-6137
Fax (812) 435-6218
Contact Us: jperry@evansvillegis.com         levee building 2              



Project Description: The project was authorized under the general authorization for the Ohio River Basin contained in the Flood Control Act approved August 28, 1937. The city of Evansville, Vanderburgh County, Indiana, is situated in the southwestern part of the state on the right bank of the Ohio River 792 miles below Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

The project consists of 79,183 feet of earth levee, 8,175 feet of concrete wall, 1,761 feet of combined wall and highway, 3,160 feet of roadway levee, 20 pumping stations, 24 movable closures, and 15 sandbag closures. The protective works is made up of seven sections -- construction dates as follows:

A Knight & Howell section began in June 1939 and was completed in 1948. Gatewell construction began in 1976 and was completed in 1979.

Pigeon Creek, Unit 1 levee construction began 1964 and completed in 1965. Pump stations began in 1965 and completed 1966.

Pigeon Creek, Unit 2, Part 1 began in 1974 and completed in 1985.

Pigeon Creek, Unit 2, Part 2 began in 1982 and completed in 1984. Pump stations began in 1988 and completed 1991.

Pigeon Creek, Unit 2, Part 3 began in 1988 and completed 1989. Pump stations began in 1988 and completed 1990.

Pigeon Creek, Unit 2, Part 4 began in 1992 and completed 1994.

This project was started in 1939 after the catastrophic flood of 1937, which caused considerable property damage. The cost of this project was $55 million paid by the federal government with the city of Evansville and Vanderburgh County providing all land acquisition. Funding to maintain this project is provided by local funds per an agreement between federal and local government entities. This levee system helps protect the residents of the City of Evansville and Vanderburgh County from future devastating floods. The flood protection system is designed to pump rainwater from the city/county back into the river during high river conditions as well as prevent the river from backing into the sewer system.

The Evansville-Vanderburgh Levee Authority District is a separate body of the City of Evansville and Vanderburgh County governments and is governed by a three-member board. The EVLAD is partnered with the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers (Louisville District) who inspects our system annually. Any changes or modifications to the system must have approval by both the local levee district and the Corps of Engineers.

EVLAD has 13 full time employees who maintain the entire levee project including pump stations, levees, and machinery. At a river stage of 26 ft., EVLAD starts working 24 hours day, seven days a week, pumping rain/storm water into the river. After the river rises past 32 ft., a computerized remote control system is activated necessitating three employees per shift trouble shooting and monitoring the remote control system.

Flood stage at Evansville is 42 ft; zero elevation corresponds to 329.18 feet above sea level at the Court Street gauge located at Dress Plaza.

Some high river stages of record at Evansville:

January 29, 1937 53.7 ft.
February 19, 1884 48.8 ft.
February 18, 1883 48.6 ft.
April 5, 1913 48.4 ft.
March 11, 1945 48.2 ft.
March 16, 1964 47.7 ft.
March 10, 1997 47.5 ft.

Since 1940 the Ohio River at Evansville has been above flood stage (42 ft.) 41 times. From 1950, it has been above 30 ft. 138 times. The flood protection system has proven itself many times and provides security to the citizens of Evansville and Vanderburgh County of which they can be proud.

Levee Board meets the first and third Tuesdays of each month at 9:00 a.m. at the Levee headquarters office, 1300 Waterworks Rd., Evansville, Indiana 47713.


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Last updated: 9/10/2014 1:44:39 PM