By Portia Williams
Members of the 1191 Engineer Company, and city of Portsmouth Flood Defense worked diligently Saturday at Court and Front Street for a thorough test of the city’s floodgates.
Staff Sergeant Nicolas Rockwell of the 1191 Engineer Company, said they came out to make sure the floodgates are in proper condition to be utilized
“We are erecting the floodgates, here in the city of Portsmouth, and to make sure that everything is in place to get the certification,” Rockwell said.
The city of Portsmouth has been working towards getting the flood wall certified. The certification process has taken a lot longer than originally expected which has caused the village of New Boston to have to wait though they have been done with their part of the process for quite some time.
“It requires a lot of manual labor, you have to pull all of the supplies out, and put the pieces in their proper places.”
Mark Puckett, of the Flood Defense Department for the city of Portsmouth said, “As the Corps of Engineers requested, we are erecting the floodgates to make sure that we get the levy certified. It involves a lot of manpower, and a lot of time to put all of these supports up and the struts, and then we have to put all of the lumber up.”
Puckett said there are different types of lumber involved, there are vertical timbers, horizontal timbers that have to go up.
“In this practice, we are just putting the timbers up, we’re not putting the sandbags, up and of the stuff that goes in between them, because that is all the Corps requires,” Puckett said.”They still have to have all of the structure up and a lot of the wood, and that is sufficient for this practice, which is basically what this is.”
Pertaining to supplies, Puckett said these types of drills are very necessary.
“This is also necessary to make sure that the supplies are there that we need in an emergency situation,” Puckett said.
Puckett said the governing body that overseas the levy is the Corps of Engineers out of Huntington, W.Va. He also said the Corps requires that the floodgates are tested at least once every three years.
“Over the last three months or so, we have put up all of the gates accept for three, and those are Second Street, which we will be doing soon, and there are two more that we’re going to do, and they call them ‘table top,’ and the other one requires the Corps of Engineers being here with us,” Puckett said.
Reach Portia Williams at 740-353-3101, ext 1929, or on Twitter @PortiaWillPDT.