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Setback in Port Arthur levee repair leads to additional sandbag

A brief setback in the repair to a breached levee in Port Arthur led to workers adding 6 feet of sand to create an even taller wall on the land side. (KFDM file photo)

A brief setback in the repair to a breached levee in Port Arthur led to workers adding 6 feet of sandbag to create an even taller wall on the land side.

Jefferson County Judge Jeff Branick tells KFDM/Fox 4 that while workers were driving in sheet piling, they hit something 15 feet below the ground.

For the past few weeks, officials with the county and Drainage District No. 7 have been organizing to repair the levee breach, which was discovered by a fisherman.

In a news release dated Aug. 4, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said it was notified by the drainage district of a failure of a section of floodwall near Taylor Bayou several days earlier.

A scouring in the turning basin allowed the wall of the hurricane levee to slide forward, Branick said, essentially making it ineffective to withstand even a Category 1 hurricane.

What's brewing in the Gulf of Mexico now - Hurricane Harvey - has the potential to become a Category 3 hurricane.

But Branick tells us he's comfortable that the repairs made since earlier this month, and particularly since the most recent setback, will be able to withstand the storm surge.

There are voluntary evacuations in Port Arthur, Sabine Pass, Bolivar Peninsula, and parts of Chambers County.

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