Hundreds of landowners sue Army Corps of Engineers over flooding

BALLARD COUNTY, KY — For the past five years, Ricky Waldon has had to deal with his land flooding, and he’s not alone.

Hundreds of landowners in west Kentucky and southern Illinois are suing the Army Corps of Engineers because of structures called wing dams.

Wing dams are installed in rivers to control water flow and help with navigation. Over the past 20 years, the Corps has installed several wing dams in the Mississippi and Ohio rivers, which Waldon claims is causing his land to flood more often and severely.

“It’s getting destroyed,” says Waldon.

Waldon says he’s experienced flooding at his home before, but he says it’s gotten a lot worse over the last several years.

“In the last five years, there has been a whole lot of difference in the water. I mean, every time I hear the river is coming up, I cringe,” says Waldon.

He says he’s had to deal with unseasonable flooding. Walden and hundreds of other landowners blame the wing dams for their flooding problems, and they are doing something about it.

“In the last 10 years, there may have been four or five 100-year floods,” says attorney Ethan Flint. He’s representing hundreds of landowners like Waldon who are suing the Corps to pay for the damage to their land and homes.

“We are asking the federal government to compensate these landowners with a flow agistment, so they buy a flow agistment from these landowners, and it’s a monetary payment,” says Flint.

Flint maintains they have evidence from scientists that supports their theory on wing dams. Walden says he’s not backing down from this fight.

“I’m not giving up. I mean, I love my property. I love my place down there,” says Waldon.

Flint filed the lawsuit in July. We reached out the Army Corps of Engineers for comment, but have not heard back.

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