20 May 2011

You can't drive your Chevy to this levee

The Daily Mail has a collection of photos of people trying to save their homes and farms.

And, since we may not get a chance to visit this topic again for a while...
The word levee [is] from the French word levée (from the feminine past participle of the French verb lever, "to raise").

(re "dike"): In Anglo-Saxon, the word dic already existed and was pronounced with a hard c in northern England and as ditch in the south. Similar to Dutch, the English origins of the word lie in digging a trench and forming the upcast soil into a bank alongside it. This practice has meant that the name may be given to either the excavation or the bank.


  1. This seems like a much more logical solution for agricultural areas than huge levees walling in the river: not only does it protect the house, but with proper river-levee management, allows the silt-rich water to gently cover the farmland. Down-stream flood-control and seasonal fertilizer all in one!

  2. That sounds good, jsb, but I've remember seeing photos of flood deposits that were mostly sand, ruining farmland. Perhaps an engineer would have a more definitive answer or relevant link.

  3. That's really a thing of beauty, isn't it? An environmental sculpture.

    As to silt vs. sand, that surely depends on a number of different factors. I don't know anything about this area or this flood, but the annual Nile inundations used to fertilize the surrounding area with rich silt, so sand deposits aren't the only possibility.

    --Swift Loris


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