Len Small Levee repairs may be made by farmers

It’s the site Clinton Pecord would rather soon forget. When a portion of the Len Small Levee collapsed, it took with it his 80 acres of farmland.

"When the levee broke, then here come the water and here come the sand," Pecord recalled to Local 6.

Eight months later, there is not much progress. Alexander County leaders are not expecting help from the federal government or the state.

"It’s just a gamble, and if you don’t get the levee fixed, then it’s really a long shot that you’re going to get a crop in," Pecord said. 

County Engineer Jeff Denny said with the Army Corps of Engineers denial of help, the responsibility to repair the levee could ultimately fall onto the farmers. "That’s basically what you are looking at now. That’s the only option," Denny told Local 6.

Denny gave that update to farmers Thursday. He hopes the levee can be built back at half the $16 million cost estimated by the Army Corps if farmers combine resources.

"When I look at the condition we are in, we’re probably worse than we’ve ever been, and we’re seeing no assistance at all," he said. 

An even bigger problem for Pecord is the 10-foot sand deposits left by the flood. He believes digging it out could be as big of an expense as rebuilding the levee.

"It may take years and years of doing that, and that’s something the farmers will have to fund themselves," Pecord said. 

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