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Corps aims to finalize flood management

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The scope of the flood protection project. The two segments are done, but the final details of the last segment, which is not yet constructed - and how they will affect Rocky Ripple, the environment and taxpayers - are still being worked out. - COURTESY OF ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS
  • Courtesy of Army Corps of Engineers
  • The scope of the flood protection project. The two segments are done, but the final details of the last segment, which is not yet constructed - and how they will affect Rocky Ripple, the environment and taxpayers - are still being worked out.


A long-standing saga involving the Army Corps of Engineers, the City of Indianapolis, the Town of Rocky Ripple and the White River continues.

As the Corps prepares to construct the final segment of a levee system aimed to provide better flood protection to an estimated 1,500 homes and businesses throughout the project area from Broad Ripple to Butler, the fate of Rocky Ripple remains uncertain.

The Corps' favored approach to completing the third and final segment of its Indianapolis North Flood Damage Reduction Project for the White River would exclude Rocky Ripple and, many residents fear, may exacerbate the flooding issues within the town.


A rendering of possible projects around Rocky Ripple includes the structures subject to eminent domain (represented as red blobs) under one version of the Corps levees and flood wall construction plan. - COURTESY OF THE ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS
  • Courtesy of the Army Corps of Engineers
  • A rendering of possible projects around Rocky Ripple includes the structures subject to eminent domain (represented as red blobs) under one version of the Corps levees and flood wall construction plan.

Engineers have outlined several other options, as well, including a so-called Rocky Ripple alignment that would offer greater flood protection to the town's residents but dozens would lose their homes as eminent domain would necessitate the taking of an estimated 43 structures, including 22 riverside houses. The Corps is not currently promoting this plan because it will cost an estimated $35.9 million more than its favored option and would require Congressional involvement.

The various proposals, along with renderings of how different scenarios would affect property and environment, are outlined in a Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Study (DSEIS) available online at bit.ly/indynorth. A copy is also available at Central Library.

The Corps will consider and respond to the collected feedback in a final study, which also will be subject to public review, before collaborating with the city to determine the project's ultimate scope and cost.

The deadline to comment on the plan is Aug. 31. Digital responses may be emailed to michael.turner@usace.army.mil.

-Rebecca Townsend

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