Jun 25, 2019

Storm Events Damage Ohio Levee System

Three miles of levees and four pump stations are in place to protect the community from floodwater.

Storm water system includes four pump station to keep community safe from floodwater
Storm water system includes four pump station to keep community safe from floodwater

In Massillon, Ohio, the levee system faced extreme challenges during a series of storm events. According to News 5 Cleveland, the city received more than 5 inches of rain in three days.

"That's obviously a tremendous amount of rainfall over a very short period of time," said Kevin Butler of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to News 5 Cleveland. 

In fact, the rainfall was record-breaking. 

"The largest in the last forty years and the fourth largest on record here in Massillon," said Butler said to News 5 Cleveland. 

According to the Canton Repository, the National Weather Service reported that the Akron-Canton area saw more than half an inch of rainfall Wednesday, which brings the total for the month of June to over 7 inches. That total is above the normal rainfall for June, which is usually 2.5 inches.

The Repository also reported the Akron-Canton area has seen approximately 24 inches of rain, which is more than the average. Typically, the area sees roughly 18 inches. 

All water was pumped into the Tuscarawas River following the extreme weather. According to News 5 Cleveland, three miles of levees with four pump stations are in place near the river to keep the community safe from flooding. 

“These levees are responsible for forming the barrier to protect about 200 acres of residential and commercial areas within the city of Massillon," Butler told News 5 Cleveland. 

Water capacity reached 40% during the height of rainfall, according to News 5 Cleveland. The Army Corps of Engineers are now keeping watch of the rainfall. When the river level drops, the crew inspects the system to see if there was damage during rainfall. According to News 5 Cleveland, “the force from the wall of moving water can cause erosion and seeping issues.”

"Although we build them to extreme, robust engineering design levels, sometimes mother nature still has a way to cause damage during extreme events," Butler told News 5 Cleveland.

Butler also stated that the levees were patrolled daily to look for “any problems that may exist.”

The levees prevented millions of dollars in loss since being built in the 1950s. 

"This is performing as designed, it's offering the barrier protection for the city of Massillon as it was intended to do," said Brandon Moore, of the Army Corps of Engineers, to News 5 Cleveland.

Read more about storm systems and storm water management here: