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How crews plan to tackle flooding in the future

Flood waters are finally receding in Peoria and those costly sandbags are being pulled away.

Thursday we followed up with Peoria Public Works for long-term plans for future floods.

The question is: Is building a sand wall the best way to tackle flooding long term?

Peoria Public Works has tackled flooding for years. This year interim director Bill Lewis said his team used over eleven hundred tons of sand to build the seventeen hundred foot protective wall.

Lewis said bills are still coming in, but to give you an idea about how much this can cost, in 2013, during that record-breaking flood, Lewis said they spent close to a million dollars and last year they spent around $250,000.

“It’s a lot of money for sure. As we do this each year, we do get better at it. We learn things each time we do it, so as we move through these different floods we are more efficient with what we are doing,” said Lewis.

Some people question if a sand wall is the best approach, even asking if building an actual wall would save money in the long run. Lewis said building a wall in Peoria would only push rising water to another city down river, so it likely would not be allowed by the Department of Natural Resources.

“If we were just looking at The River Station itself, to build a wall around that, to protect it against high water levels, that’s a probably more realistic approach. There are different types of flood walls that can be done, but we have not sat down with the DNR to discuss those yet,” said Lewis.

Crews plan to start cleaning up next week.


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