Levee Failure at Elba, Alabama

by Beverly H. Winn, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Mobile, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Water Resources Planning and Management and Urban Water Resources


In March 1990, flooding resulted in levee failure at Elba, Alabama. The levee project was constructed in 1938 by the Works Progress Administration to provide protection to the city from Beaverdam Creek, Whitewater Creek and the Pea River. Prior to 1990 little flood damage had occurred in the protected portion of Elba. However, from 15 to 17 March 1990 approximately 16 inches of rain fell over the Elba area, causing record flood stages and a 150-foot break in the levee. This break allowed nearly 25 feet of water to flood the city. The total economic loss due to the flood is expected to exceed $100 million. Assistance included about $60 million in loans by the Small Business Administration and $2.2 million approved by FEMA for the repair of public facilities in Elba.

Subject Headings: Rivers and streams | Levees and dikes | Dam failures | Failure analysis | Public buildings | Floods | Rainfall | Project management | Alabama | United States

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