President’s Island receives additional flood protection for industrial park

President’s Island receives additional flood protection for industrial park
City leaders cut the ribbon on the new relief wells to prevent flooding on President's Island. (Smith, Courtney)

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Historic flooding in 2011 led to the discovery of a potentially dangerous issue on President’s Island.

On Tuesday, the Corps of Engineers unveiled a project that adds an extra layer of protection to the area.

In 2011, flooding led to a number of sand boils where water got under the Ensley Levee and bubbled up on the land side.

The $4.5 million project created 121 relief wells to prevent the flood waters from moving dirt.

“What you don't want to do during a flood event is have any dirt moving under any structure because it could undermine the structure,” said Randy Richardson with Memphis and Shelby County Port Commission.

The relief wells will collect flood water and provide a controlled outlet for water seepage.

This project, which started in 2016, protects 5,000 acres of land that house 25 industrial facilities, including a steel plant and a City of Memphis waste water treatment plant.

Those plants also employee about 2,000 people.

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